One of the awesome things about being a blogger is that over the years you can develop fabulous friendships with other bloggers from all around the world. It is pretty inspiring to have a bunch of people that you can call your friends, that are among some of the most creative, kind and clever people you know. My pal Asia from Fun at Home with Kids is one of these people. If you've not seen her blog yet, then you really must. Her Ultimate Guide to Slimes is a must read and I'd trust her slime recipes over any you find on the net as you know they've been very rigorously tested!
With a Masters in Education and an undergraduate degree in biology and chemistry, Asia certainly has the qualifications, but it is her passion and creativity that combined these things to produce not only a fabulous blog full of free resources, but also a wonderful book, "150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids."
I was delighted to receive a copy as even though I thrive off creating my own ideas for my kids, I also love being able to have resources at hand that I can just flick through and find great ideas quickly without having to think about them! It's hard coming up with new and interesting things all the time (and I love to give my children new experiences as well as repeating old ones so that they can see and learn and grow from all the possibilities that are out there), so having a copy of 150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids is a must for your home.
The other day my kids were flicking through the book (they love looking at pictures of other kids doing things!) and when the page landed on the Dinosaurs in Sticky Mud activity, from the "Small Worlds" section of the book, they really wanted to have a turn too.
The book is set out in such a way that it is very easy to see what you need and how to do it. I could quickly see that I'd be able to set up this activity in a matter of minutes using things I had around the house. That is the recipe for a good activity!
Using the book as inspiration, I gathered our supplies. I didn't need to use exactly the same materials as the book, just whatever I had access to. That is one of the things so great about open-ended activities. Unless you are following an exact recipe for a play material (like slime), the rest you are free to improvise and extend upon (you can even improvise recipes, part of the fun is in experimenting and learning for yourself, they just may not turn out as you hoped).
You just need the inspiration in the first place, and that is where the book, "150+ Screen Free Activities for Kids", comes in!
For the "sticky mud", we loosely followed Asia's recipe and used the same ingredients as in our Cornfour Slime but made a slightly runnier mixture. We used approx. 2.5 cups of cornflour/cornstarch and 1 cup of water. I first coloured the water with some black food colouring to make it a grey colour before adding it to the cornstarch. In her book, Asia suggests using either a food colouring or watercolour to add the colour to your sticky mud. Watercolour is a great idea for all those colours that you don't have in food colours and, like food dye, so long as you don't overuse it, it shouldn't stain your children's hands.
I was able to have this Invitation to Play all set up in around 5 minutes and let me assure you, it was played with for much, much longer than that!
Where can I get a copy of this awesome book?
You can buy the book (with free worldwide delivery) here at the Book Depository.
It is also available from many other online and offline retailers so be sure to check your favourite book stores. Did I mention that this activity was just one out of more than 150 ideas!?! Should keep you busy for a while! (Would make a great gift too).
This really is a great book for all ages and whether you're a creative type or not, you will still find so many fabulous ideas for engaging and entertaining your children without needing to shop for millions of specialty supplies. Most use very basic materials that you should have already have at home and the instructions are clear and easy for you, or your children, to follow.
Look where else we are. Are you following along? :)
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