Andy Seed is a brilliant writer of non fiction for kids and his series of Anti-Boredom books are packed full of ideas to keep children busy and develop their imaginations. The Anti-Boredom Book of Brilliant Outdoor Things to Do, illustrated by Scott Garrett and published by Bloomsbury is the perfect book for finding fun things to do outdoors.
It can be hard tempting children to get outside at times and even harder to find them something to do once they’re there. Thankfully, this book offers children and adults a wealth of ideas to keep everyone entertained. From simple outdoor based word games to den building, there are activities to fill a few spare minutes or a whole day.
There are perfect experiments to conduct outdoors where you are free to be so much messier than in the house; making potions, volcanoes and slides as well as searching for bugs and making paints out of natural materials.
Most of the activities are easy to set up and use items that you’re likely to already have at home, the instructions are clear and can be followed independently by older children. But there are also plenty of simple and quick ideas that can be done at a moment’s notice; skimming stones on a lake, jumping waves at the seaside and making daisy chains on the grass.
Whether you’re at home, on holiday or even had your adventures rained off, with fun and engaging illustrations, this is the book for you. There is even a section of ideas for things to do outside in the winter, so if (like me) you hate being out in the cold then there are plenty of ideas to pass the time and take your mind off the fact that your toes have gone numb!
We decided to have a go at the cornflour gloop activity as this would please both my five-year-old (who was very quick to take charge and tell us he is already a seasoned gloop maker thanks to school) and my two-year-old. This is never something I want to do in my house but out in the garden they can be as messy as they like.
Armed with just cornflour, water and something to put it in and you have the recipe for gloop. We added different food colours as well as glitter to ours but plain white is just as good.
Cornflour gloop is irresistible and kids can become totally engrossed in it, watching it change state as they manipulate it. It opens up so many possible avenues for play and development; my two-year-old got his hands stuck in and started using different words to describe how it felt and was surprised at how different it felt when it dried on his hands, my five-year-old started mixing the colours to make a potion, had a go at writing letters in it and made predictions about what would happen when we left it out in the sun while we had our lunch… And even once it had dried this activity still kept us entertained as it shattered and crumbled into pieces.
Far from being prescriptive the activities in this book can provide a starting point for inspiring you to look for the things you find in nature to have fun. We used the leaf art ideas from the book and made some art in the sand during a trip to the beach.
The main thing we have taken from this book is that you don’t have to spend lots of time and money on planning big activities with children, sometimes the simplest things can bring about the most happiness and joy.
You can find out more about Andy Seed with plenty more fun content and book reviews on his website here.
Buy The Anti-Boredom Book of Brilliant Outdoor Things to Do from Wordery.
Many thanks to Bloomsbury for sending a copy of this book for review.
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