Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Three creative child books

I found these three books in the library, and after reading, thought I would review for all you lovelies...

365 Activities You and Your Child Will Love: Fun Ideas for Your Preschooler's Growing Mind!365 activities you and your child will love from Gymboree
Not so much actually.  For anybody with any imagination, who spends any time enjoying themselves with their toddler or pre-school age child i.e. not just putting them in front of the box or going to organised activities, then nearly all the suggestions in this book will be things that you already do without even thinking about it.  You may get a few new ideas, but not much that you couldn't think up on your own.  Here are some randomly selected from the book: 
Idea 83 - Ask your child questions about nature.  For instance, you might ask, "What has four legs and moos?"
Idea 145 - put on a show
Idea 255 - Make a comb kazoo
Idea 278 - pop some corn

Teach Yourself Developing Your Child's Creativity (Teach Yourself General)Teach Yourself - Developing your child's creativity
The first part of this book is about the benefits of creatvity, how to nurture creativity, and how to make your home a creative environment, then it breaks up into age brackets up to the age of seven and lists some "golden rules" to nurture creativity for that age, and some activities to try.  As with the previous book, many of the activities are things that I would be doing anyway, though I did get a few ideas.  I did enjoy reading the first few chapters, giving information about research into creativity and child development, and some ideas of what to do and not to do to encourage creativity in your child.  To be fair, I think we are pretty creative already, and by that, as the book reminds us, we aren't just talking about dance, music and art, we're talking about ingenuity, problem solving skills and imagination, but it is nice to read something that gives research to reassure yourself that you're doing well.  

According to this book, signs that your child may be creative include:

  • connecting seemingly random objects and ideas in fantasy play
  • asking lots of unusual questions (my three year old nephew recently asked my sister whether Tyrannosaurus Rex could swim)
  • they're often the odd one out, not necessarily dressing or acting conventionally
  • they're resourceful and good at solving problems
  • they love playing alone and can entertain themselves for long periods of time
  • they're often so absorbed in what they are doing that they don't even hear you
  • they are rebellious
What a fabulous list!
Here are two ideas for things I don't do and want to start doing more, from the age 1-2 chapter - 
  • dressing up box - I was waiting until he had the dressing and undressing skills, but actually could start with hats, bags, shoes and scarves.
  • the magic sofa - every now and then add some simple prop to transform the sofa into a car / plane / cafe etc to encourage him to try more make believe.
I like this book.

Creative Crafts for Kids: Over 100 Fun Projects for Two to Ten Year OldsCreative Crafts for Kidsby Hamlyn, over 100 fun projects for 2-10 year olds.
There are some fun ideas in here.  Not much that you wouldn't be able to find on the internet, but quite a wide variety and well set out.
There are a variety of home made cards, seasonal gifts and decorations, costumes, gifts for relatives and loved ones etc.
I like this book and would be happy to receive it as a gift or borrow it from the library again, but don't feel that it's essential enough to my life that I would buy it for myself.

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