Summer is a wonderful time of year filled with lots of gorgeous weather and fun events like going to the beach, swimming, picnics, bike rides, berry picking, and maybe an awesome vacation. But, many families are on a tight budget and opt for a stay-cation instead. So kids are home all day, every day and they’re getting a little bored. Coming up with some interesting and fun activities that fill the days and keep young imaginations excited and busy requires some foresight, a little planning, and some really cool interactive books. I found several that are a big hit in my family.
Stickyscapes Super-Heroes is a fold-out book that includes 150 stickers featuring heroic men, women, kids, plus menacing villains. The book opens up four feet to feature epic superhero scenes on both sides. These scenes show a cityscape on one side and a supervillain’s liar on the other side complete with a laser defense system and sinister research lab. Kids can create their own heroic storyline and add sticker characters in strategic locations as their diabolical scheme unfolds. Superheroes can use their superpowers to fend off evil villains and protect the universe. Kapow! Biff!!
Each sticker character has an interesting and informative write-up in a comic book style notice. For example, Super King just happens to look like Rockabilly Elvis Presley. He’s a rock n’ roll star by day and a star-bangled superhero by night. He fights crime with his pure gold vocal chords. He also has a dog sidekick called King K9 who works undercover for the F.D.I — Federal Dog Investigators. Then there is Scarlet Spider who owns a secret nightspot called The Poisonous Parlor. It’s here that she has a nightly cabaret where evil supervillains can relax and chill out after a busy day of evil-doing. All the characters are intriguing. Stickyscapes Super-heroes is lots of fun and will keep kids engaged for days.
Stickyscapes At The Museum
Stickyscapes At the Museum takes kids on a journey through a museum. The book unfolds into double-sided scenes of the museum during the day on one side and during the night on the other. Included are 100 stickers of historic people, famous works of prehistoric animals, art, artists, admirers, students, and more. Each feature sticker has an informative blurb sharing actual facts that young minds will soak up.
Kids can experience exhibitions in their own museum galleries. Egyptian deities, Knights in shining armor, warriors, sculptures, prehistoric animals, aviation, totems, science displays and so much more.
Did you know that the Mona Lisa painting by Leonardo da Vinci is said to be the most famous painting of all? It’s rumored that while painting her, he invited musicians, clowns, and actor to entertain his model, which may account for her smile. Here’s another interesting fact — The Spanish artists Salvador Dalí painted melting clocks and floating eyes, clouds that looked like faces, and rocks that looked like bodies. He also claimed to received messages from outer space via his extravagantly curved mustache, which acted as an antenna. There are so many curiosities and interesting details that a museum has to offer.
Everyday Adventures opens up our senses to see our hometown with fresh eyes and to experience our local surroundings anew. This books shares how being in the same old hood and local haunts can be revitalized with fifty fun and adventurous challenges and activities. The idea is to make these new but familiar adventures tangible, emotional, enjoyable and plain ole’ fun. Nothing is written in stone, just flow where life goes.
Each adventure is described on one page and the instructions are written on the opposite page. There’s also a complexity gauge from 1 – 5 at the bottom of each adventure — 1 is super easy, whereas a 3 or more would require more effort, thought and planning.
Kids can gather a group of their friends and start with the first adventure and then make their way through the book. Or they can choose an adventure that sounds like fun and go for it. Adventure #1 is Follow Your Nose. It encourages you to literally use your nose to explore the scents and aromas from your local area that are both fragrant and funky. Fish markets, flower parks, bakeries, perfumeries, and candy stores are just some smells that might flair your nostrils.
The author’s own adventures traveling the world as a photographer are sprinkled throughout the book. She shares her experiences in various locations be they awkward, funny, scary, or surprising.
I really love this book. It opens up so many so new ideas, encourages exploits and escapades, invites you on cultural odysseys, and has you embracing your surroundings all over again. Kids will enjoy the challenges.
Cardboard Box Creations
The Cardboard Box Creations brings back a lot of memories. As kids, we used cardboard boxes a lot to create forts, vehicles, and buildings to name a few. When my daughter was little, we created a castle (albeit crude) for her to play in. Then it seemed this form of play stopped and cardboard boxes ended up in the recycle bins. It’s great that Lonely Planet has revisited this lost concept of play and created twenty new and exciting interactive cardboard models that stimulate children’s creativity. These kits include amazing travel-themed objects, icons and famous landmarks.
- Suitcase and camera
- London bus
- Shadow theatre
- Empire State Building
- Tent and campfire
- Amazon canoe and caiman
- Japanese-inspired tea house
- Redback spider
Each kit contains cardboard sheets with pre-cut template pieces and instructions on putting your masterpiece together. Cardboard Box Creations gives kids a basic concept and then lets their motor skills, imaginations and creativity run wild. One idea morphs into another and soon the kids have created a cardboard world of cleverly crafted recreations of some cool things. After the cardboard models have been put together, they further encourage kids creativity through drawing and painting.
Having these books on hand during your summer staycation will stave off boredom, entertain kids and open up numerous fun and creative possibilities. Kids love fun things to do and these activities are adventurous and productive. They’ll have a blast.
Disclaimer: I received products to facilitate this post. All opinions are my own, yours may differ.