There have been a range of activity books that have been published recently. There is something for everyone in the family, from toddlers right through to the 12-year-old history buff.
Alison Lester’s Wonderful World brings together Alison’s illustrations from her many delightful books and gives kids the chance to create their own colourful adventures with Noni the Pony, beach holidays, and explorations of the jungle and oceans. There are more basic illustrations for younger children, right through to very detailed scenes for older children (and their parents). It’s a wonderful colouring book for old and young alike.
See Play Do: A Kid’s Handbook for Everyday Fun is the ultimate activity book for Kiwi families. This fantastic book is packed full of games and activities to get kids thinking, moving, exploring, being creative and having fun. There are pages to draw on, with activities like planning your dream breakfast and drawing while listening to music. There are pages to write on, like writing about what happened the last time you were at the park and writing a playlist of the favourite songs you like to listen to. There are also pages with recipes to try, bird feeders and bath paint to make, and heaps of pages with suggestions of fun things to do and try. There are so many things in this book that I want to do with my toddler. Every family in New Zealand needs this book under their Christmas tree because it is certain to be loved by everyone. It is a real winner!
Peter Goes’ Timeline was a fascinating book that Gecko Press published last year. It starts at the beginning of time and follows events right through to the present day. It is a large book chock-full of information about people, places and events throughout time, and you find something new every time you look at it. Gecko Press have just released a companion activity book for Timeline. This is the perfect book for those kids that love history and who have lots of fascinating facts stored away in their head, especially older children. Kids can be creative while learning about civilisations, historical events and famous people from history. Kids can decorate a cave with rock drawings, bring Ottoman designs to life, graffiti the Berlin Wall, decorate the uniforms of soldiers in the Russian Revolution and help Michelangelo decorate the Sistine Chapel. There is so much variety in this book and it will keep anyone entertained for many, many hours. The pages can also be detached from the book so you can hang your masterpieces on the wall or share them with friends. This is a must-buy Christmas present for older children.
I also want to give a special mention to Gecko Press for their new card games based on two of their best-selling books. Noisy Dominoes was inspired by The Noisy Book, a gorgeous board book featuring lots of different noises to make. In Noisy Dominoes, players have to imitate the noise of the object or animal on their card or mime the action. They have also released Poo Bum Memory, inspired by my favourite Gecko Press book Poo Bum, and featuring words and images from the book. I think these are both a wonderful idea to extend the fun of these two books and they are a lot of fun.