Monday, July 4, 2011

101 Creative Offline Ideas For Moms or Dads to Do With Your Kids This Summer - Book Review

Book Review

For adults, especially those without kids at home all day, summer seems to fly quickly by.  But for those of you with young kids, it can really drag on for both parents and children when you start hearing them saying "I'm bored" as often as they are saying "I'm hungry." 
iPhone Photo by Janis Brett Elspas,

The good news is that moms and dads of younger children don't have to dread the season of the year when kids are not only home for three months, but days are at their longest too.  Summer is meant for us all to enjoy, no matter how old the kids are and the new family-friendly book 101 Offline Activities You Can Do With Your Child, June 2011, is just the thing to make it happen this year.

Authored by Steve and Ruth Bennett who also brought us 365 TV-Free Activities You Can Do With Your Child, 1996, the brand new 2011 book is suitable for parents of toddlers and older elementary school students alike.  With kids so prone to whiling away the hours indoors on a computer this summer, more than ever, this book gives some easy ideas for parents to connect with your child at the same time you both unplug from the technologies that oftentimes keep you a part.

The unique picture and word format of the contents section at the beginning of the book makes this particularly simple for a toddler to actually choose the activity he'd like to do with mom.  Many of the 101 activities suggested in the book can even be done by older kids on their own, following the well-written, basic directions.  The amount of parental supervision will vary based on the activity, child's age, abilities, and motor skills.

To test this family fun guide out, I opened it at random to the page for Idea #6:  Big-Time Newspaper.  Any mommy blogger -- as well as non-blogging moms and dads -- raising future little journalists will enjoy this.  This project, which can be done at the kitchen table while mom cooks dinner, starts by covering the table with large sheets of paper.  Then, using crayons or washable magic markers, kids write the name of their newspaper in large letters to create the masthead at the top.  They can also try their hand at setting up columns and doing layouts as well as dreaming up headlines.

I liked this particular idea because it helps kids not only develop writing skills but also gives them a chance to tell stories about what happened that day in their own hand-written (not computer typed) words.  Throughout the rest of the book were a number of other equally engaging ways for parents and kids to spend some quality time together.  

With such of wide variety of 100 other clever choices there are all sorts of things kids can do at home indoors, in the backyard, and even while traveling.  The best thing of all is that none of the ideas suggested involves any sort of electronics or technology.  Not only that, they require just a few inexpensive items you probably already have on hand at home.

Talk about having a good, old-fashioned summer with your kids.  Can you imagine anything better for either you or your child to do together?

Steve Bennett is the founder of AuthorBytes a company creating sites and online collateral for authors and publishers.  Steve and wife Ruth's previous activity books -- 365 Outdoor Activities You Can Do With Your Child and 365 TV-Free Activities You Can Do With Your Child -- have sold more than 1 million copies.  Ruth, BTW, is a landscape architect specializing in parks and outdoor children's play spaces.

101 Offline Activities You Can Do With Your Child, $19.95 in paperback; $9.99 for the Kindle Edition, is published by BPT Press.  Available in either format on Amazon. 

Now it's your turn.  What ways do you like best to enjoy quality time with your kids away from computers and televisions during the summer months?  Would love to hear about what works for your family

FTC Disclosure:  I received a review copy of the book to facilitate this review.   MommyBlogExpert did not receive any payment or other compensation associated with this particular post.  See complete FTC Disclosure information that appears at the bottom of MommyBlogExpert's main page and at the bottom of every MBE post.

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