Customer Review

60 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbored: A Grandparent's New Best Friend (and Reference), December 4, 2012
This review is from: Unbored: The Essential Field Guide to Serious Fun (Hardcover)
As a grandmother with 6 grandchildren ranging from 1-13 years of age, and as a former teacher, now professor of education, I find Unbored a refreshing change to the usual litany of "educational" activities generated to be "adult-approved." Instead, the activities leverage creativity, imagination, links to a world becoming increasingly technologically- and media-oriented, and commonplace materials and equipment. The activities are also wholistic--requiring planning from beginning to end. Additionally, children and youth can engage on their own, with friends, and with family members--including watchful parents and grandparents.

As a grandparent who wants to actively engage with my grandchildren, I appreciate such activities as "Make a Secret Book Safe," "Experimenting in the Kitchen," and my granddaughters are waiting for me to help them, "Construct a Mouse House." I want to spend my time with my grandchildren in a meaningful way--not in front of a movie or TV eating fatty popcorn and drinking sugary beverages. I also appreciate that the book taps experience from my generation, such as being home alone and cooking for yourself, melting a record to make a bowl, marbles, paper football, finger games, etc. I increasingly fear that these activities are getting lost in the world of video games and smart phone apps--which is not to say that these are necessarily bad, but instead to point out that it's a rich world that we can share with our grandchildren.

As an educator, one concern I've had for a long time is the loss of project-based learning in our schools. I remember making Valentine boxes, and the designing, planning, gathering materials, making and correcting mistakes, and having a finished product that reflected ME was a good way to learn to problem solve and make decisions in a child-centered activity. Unbored provides this type of learning, which the schools, with their emphasis on direct instruction, drill, and high stakes test preparation, have forgotten how to teach. Increasingly, when we look at whether our children are well-prepared from college, we realize that they don't have these skills, which in education, are called "self-regulation (planning, problem-solving, goal setting, etc.)." I believe Unbored helps move kids to be more self-regulated and to have fun while developing this much needed skill. It also promotes autonomy--which we want kids to have in this highly complex world--the ability and confidence to handle themselves on their own.

So, hip grandmothers (and grandfathers) with Smart Phones, who aren't afraid to get dirty, make mistakes, use a little technology and engage with media, this is the book for you! I just bought four for Santa Anonymous--every kid deserves a book written just for them--and a little subversiveness is highly needed in this overprotective environment that we now foist on our children.
Unbored: The Essential Field Guide to Serious Fun
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