Monday, July 8, 2013

Usborne Activities - Summer things to make and do by Leonie Pratt, Katrina Fearn, Katie Lovell and Samantha Meredith (Usborne Books)

"I'm bored!"

Wait a week or so and you'll hear your little ones saying that a lot, as the long long summer holiday begins. Though it's blisteringly hot at the moment, there will inevitably be days when rain stops play, or when kids just want to get out the bits and bobs box, and make something brilliant.

Thankfully Usborne are always on hand with a selection of fantastic activity books. We have been looking at "Summer things to make and do" and enjoying the various activities, art projects and makes inside.

We thought we'd tackle the tickly crab to start with, as it seemed like a good fun thing to make, with easy-to-find components you should have at home.

Charlotte getting stuck in with the glue, silver foil and tissue paper

You'll need foil, tissue paper, PVA glue, white card, coloured card (we opted for matching yellow for tissue paper and card but there's no reason why you can't go crazy, colourwise!)

Covering the crab's body in tissue paper. Gently does it!
Once the body is made it's time to cut out some spindly legs (you'll need 8, plus two clippy-claws and a couple of eye-stalks too!)

Careful you don't get nipped!
Charlotte really enjoyed this make and we vowed to have a go at the utterly awesome Flip Flops you can also find in the book.

What we liked best about these activities is that they don't require a whole recycling bin full of bits to do the makes, and the art projects are well within a child's capabilities (though the book's aimed at 5-8 year olds, younger kids can pitch in with mum and dad and still come up with some brilliant results).

Scuttle scuttle!

Diagrams for each make are very clearly laid out, as you'd expect from Usborne - and there's a handy sheet of bonus stickers in the middle of the book which are easily detached (without ruining the book, hooray) and can really make a seaside summerscape come to life.

The Usborne Activities - Summer Things to Make and Do book might not see you through 8 long weeks, but it's fantastic to dip into and if the sun is shining, take your making mat out into the garden and make something groovy out in the fresh air.

Charlotte's best bit: Loved making the crab and got really excited about the prospect of making mini flip-flops

Daddy's favourite bit: A great little activity book that can keep youngsters occupied for hours. Savour the summer while it lasts, and have something great in the colder weather to remind you of the summer sun.

(Kindly sent to us for review by Usborne Books)

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