Wednesday, July 22, 2015

101 Things To Do Before You Grow Up by Laura Dower

When my Kiddo was young, we always took our vacation in August, so right about now I would begin hear the words "I'm bored."  Those words are the reason I always kept a few activity books in my secret mom-stash.  Activity books always had something in them to catch her fancy on any given day.

My Kiddo may be older, but I still have plenty of young nieces and nephews who come to visit.  I love have them but I can't take them out every day to do things, so I still hear those whiny words "I'm bored."  Expecting that, I was naturally very happy to discover a new activity book for older readers (age 8+), which is perfect for my kids.

Done in an easy to use spiral notebook format, 101 Things to Do Before You Grow Up offers a wide variety of interesting activities covering activities kids can do alone or with each other.  The activities require few materials, mostly things that can be found around the house, so they are cost effective, and need little adult supervision.  There is nothing that will cause injury to a child, or blow up or burn down the house.

Some activities, like (#48) making a funny flip book, (#19) learning how to make shadow puppets or (#31) making three different secret codes, which pairs nicely with (#68) making and using invisible ink, are among some of the great indoor, rainy day projects, while making and using a compass, (#27) making and flying a decorated brown bag kite, (#76) inventing and going on a scavenger hunt with friends or (#14) learning some basic constellations and going stargazing, which pairs nicely with (#61) learning the phases of the moon, are nice outdoor things to try.

Each activity gets its own colorful page. sometimes two pages, with illustrations are clearly drawn thanks to Dan Bramall and Katie Knutton.  The instructions are written simply enough for even an 8 year old to follow, and at the bottom of each page, there is a box for kids to check off and record the date they did that particular activity.  Best of all, the activities will appeal to boys and girls equally.

Most of the 101 Things listed aren't new, but really tried and true activities, sometimes with a new spin to them, however.  It's nice to have them collected in one book, so when kids need something to do, they can easily go through it and find something.  One of the things I really like about activity books is that they get kids away from their screen life for a while and back into real life.

101 Things To Do Before You Grow Up is a sure winner for those moments when your kids are looking for something to do.

This book is recommended for readers age 8+
This book was purchased for my personal library

An activity book endorsement: When my Kiddo was about 10, and had just finished reading Harriet the Spy, she naturally wanted to spy the way Harriet did.  In an activity book she had then, there was the suggestion to take binoculars and see how many different kinds of birds you could spot in your neighborhood.  We made her a belt a la Harriet with all kinds of spy paraphernalia, like a flashlight, her Girl Scout compass, binoculars, pen, notebook.  We also borrowed a book about birds from the library and went to the park to "spy" on as many different kinds of birds that we could find.  She had fun "spying" and playing Harriet, got a lot of compass and writing practice in, and learned a great deal about birds, something she never would have done otherwise.

This is book 6 of my 2015 Nonfiction Picture Book Reading Challenge hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy


  1. I think I will bookmark this for the future for my granddaughters (6 & 4). It looks delightful. Although I've done a number of these things as a teacher, it's great to hear that they're all in one collection. I love your Harriet the Spy story. My daughter read that long ago & she too had her notebook, a spy glass!, & other things so she could be the spy Harriet was. That book still captures kids today! Thanks, Alex!

  2. What a great idea to have for those moments that are dragging. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I've been tempted to buy books like this for myself to spark my creativity or to get me exploring but I then I always worried how I'm going to find the time. The unnecessary problems of being a grown up!


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