Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Review: Finding Educational Activities in the Most Unexpected Places

Sometime being an aunt is hard. I don't have the patience of a mom and I'm just not used to kids since I'm not around them that often. That's one reason I enjoy reading the blog Many Little Blessings. Angie writes about everything from crafts to going green to family/kids and sometimes all these at once! I'm always interested in posts about her kids and their activities since her kids are a bit older than my youngest nieces/nephew. While I don't get to babysit as often as I would like, I'm always on the lookout for activities we can do together.

That's why when Angie announced her book, Finding Educational Activities in the Most Unexpected Places, I was so excited for her and for me. Angie has a Master's degree in Special Education and does in-home therapy for young children. According to Angie, this book
was written as a reaction to comments that many of the families that I see doing in-home therapy have said. I often bring toys for the children to play with while we’re working, and many families have said things like, “I need to get something like (that toy)” or “You have all the cool toys.” I wanted to show those families that there are so many activities that can be done with just objects in and around their own houses. So, I wrote this book with them in mind. (I am giving the books, one section at a time, to those families at no charge.)
This 58-page e-book has over 200 activities to keep any child busy using common (and inexpensive) household items. The book is organized by props including such items as lids, poker chips, and blankets. While I don't have any poker chips, I do have other things I can use for the activities. See, she's already got me thinking! Given Angie's background, I'm confident the activities she's given will be fun and educational.

What I liked:
* In addition to the fun ideas, Angie noted the benefits such as hand-eye coordination or if the activity might not be appropriate for a child (for example, child with sensory defensiveness).
* Well organized.
* A list of her favorite books for toddlers and preschoolers. While I am familiar with most of them, there are a few that are new to me.
* The PDF format, which is low cost and easy to browse, but allows me to print out pages if I want hard copy.

What I would have liked:
* More details on which activities would be appropriate for what ages or age range (as a non-mom, I'm not sure what activities would be best/appropriate for a two year old or a four year old or a six year old).
* An index (but I'm old school that way).

You can purchase a copy of Finding Educational Activities in the Most Unexpected Places at Many Little Blessings for $7.50 US. Through the end of this month (May 2010), you can get a 20% discount by using this code: Scrapbook20.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my review. I was not paid for this review nor received any other compensation.


Susan said...

at review Arlyn!!!

Angie @ Many Little Blessings said...

Thanks for the nice review! :) I appreciate it.

That's a great suggestion about the age ranges. I thought about something like that, but since my main purpose in writing it was for my therapy kids (who tend to be delayed), I didn't want parents to have undue stress and say things like, "But Susie is two years old and can't do this," and then feel bad. So, I decided to skip it. Plus, I realized that some of the activities would be fun for even my boys, so to say "great for age 4 - 6" on an activity might box it in too much, when a 10 year old might want to join in too.

I hope that you're able to find some fun new things to do with your nieces and nephews. :)