This inviting collection of outdoor activities, beautifully illustrated with color photographs, is sure to inspire couch potatoes to go outside and test out many of its creative suggestions. Using the raw materials nature has to offer, the authors offer clear, concise instructions on how to create ephemeral art, outdoor toys, jewelry, sculptures, and dozens of other things using materials like clay, ice, leaves, sand, and wood. The instructions offer good guidance but also encourage children to use their own creativity and imagination to craft the final product. The projects range in level of difficulty and, depending on the age of the child, can be done individually or in collaboration with siblings, peers, or parents. The authors include safety instructions and recommendations for further resources on outdoor creative exercises. The activities will teach problem solving and commonsense, useful skills; instill a deeper appreciation of nature; and encourage creativity and ingenuity. An excellent choice for any library collection. Grades 4-8. --Ed Sullivan
Parents have a lot of competition when it comes to luring their kids outdoors: SpongeBob, Wii and today’s toy du jour. Flaming Balloons” just might do the trick. They are made from bamboo and rice paper, with a small candle attached at the base; the rising hot hair lifts it up to the sky (tether lanterns for safety.) Make it Wild! 101 things to Make and Do Outdoors by Fiona Danks and Jo Schofield entices kids to be creative with their natural environment all year long. We can’t wait to try: Outdoor Ice Lanterns, Flaming Night Boats, Withy Lanterns, and Sand Silhouettes.
This is not your average craft book. Beautiful photographs accompany detailed descriptions for each distinctive project. Children (and adults!) are encouraged to think for themselves and make their creations their own. They learn to take risks, work together and discover new uses for natural resources.
This should hold their attention until they’re old enough to discover Facebook.
Let the wild rumpus start!—Urban Baby