Because of Jeanne’s comment on my last post, I wanted to talk more about some of the activity books that I’ve piled up over the past couple of weeks. I meant to post this last week, but the daycare cold caught up with us and I didn’t manage to do it. Anyway. Here are some books that I brought home, because someone was returning them while I was working in the Children’s Room at our library. This is the way I get all of our books these days. I never have time to browse myself. I’ve gotten good at it, too. When someone with similar tastes returns books, I always have to check out what they’ve returned.
The Ultimate Book of Kid Concoctions – John Thomas and Danita Pagel
This is a fun one, but for those of you who are pros, there isn’t too much new here. I have heard of a bunch of these concoctions like glue, paper mache and play-doh. I got this one because it had the peanut butter play-doh recipe. Of course, my son eats flour, cinnamon, salt and baking powder straight up if I’m not looking, so those recipes are not so good for us. Last week we tried the Sticky Paint recipe which was great fun, albeit very messy. It doesn’t ever dry although there is a point of maximum stickiness when it’s too hard to paint because your arms are too stiff and sticky. Other concoctions that look promising: “Super Sidewalk Paint,” “Magic Muck,” “Oatmeal Play Clay,” “Wacky Watercolors.” I can’t wait to try the watercolors, because I think they fizz. All of the recipes in here are the kind that put me on the verge of a nervous breakdown, but I’m trying to be a bit more relaxed about the mess. There’s also a holiday version.
Cooking Art – MaryAnn F. Kohl
This is what it sounds like. If you are into fun food, this book is for you. With themes like Flowers & Trees or Birds & Bugs and seasonal recipes for each month, I think there is something for everyone to try. Ability levels range from 1 to 3 spoons. 1 being the easiest.
Discovering Great Artists: Hands-On Art for Children in the Styles of the Great Masters – MaryAnn F. Kohl
I like this one so much that I might even buy it for when my son is a bit older. Each page or so focuses on an artist (in chronological order) and provides a brief biography of the artist and then provides an activity that allows children to create art in the style of the artist. Children can paint with silver leaf like Angelico (15th C) or make “Happy Accident String Drop” paintings like Marcel Duchamp. There are so many resources here for the beginning artist and art historian. I think this is such a great way for children to experience famous art. Actually trying it is a much richer experience than merely looking.