Are the dog days of summers dragging at your house? Are your kids bored? We’ve been running around like crazy recently, but when we find ourselves with a day just at home with nothing we have to do, my kids sometimes find it hard to entertain themselves. Like today.
So, as usual, I am turning to books. Not books in the normal sense. They do both have books that they are enjoying right now, but they don’t want to read all day. (I’m really not sure why!? I would love to read all day!)
This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on a link in this post, Bookity Split may receive compensation. Thank you for supporting our website!
No, I mean books in the inspirational sense. Books with ideas for things to do. We own this amazing book, and we have all flipped through it before, but this week, we are going to use it to create.
I challenged my boys to find a project in the book that we could try. My youngest seems to want to make the volcano, balloon rocket car, or icy orbs. My oldest wants to make the sugar crystals, because he has a bit of a sweet tooth. I am thinking maybe the slime? I’ve held off on making slime yet this year, mainly due to the mess, but this recipe looks safe and easy with just cornstarch and shampoo as the main ingredients.
After we paged through the Smithsonian Maker Lab book, I read the forward. It was written by an inspirational young man, Jack Andraka, who as a teenager invented an early detection test for cancer and a water filtration system! In fact, I just added his young adult memoir, Breakthrough: How One Teen Innovator is Changing the World, to my to-be-read list on Goodreads.
Maker-spaces and STEAM labs are becoming popular in bookstores, libraries, and schools. The idea behind these spaces is to provide materials for people to create. What can they make? ANYTHING! That’s the beauty behind it! Basic maker-spaces provide paper, markers, popsicle sticks, tape, and paper towel tubes, while the more advanced ones include 3-D printers and recording studios. The sky is the limit.
Some kids will tell you they love science, others may not know they love science yet. But lots of kids like to experiment and make things. With the right books and materials, we can provide an environment that fosters and encourages creativity to grow in our homes and classrooms.
Other books that will inspire creativity:
My boys have several of these dot-to-dot books. They really are extreme, with thousands of dots per picture. They love carefully connecting the dots and then sometimes even are inspired to color in the picture.
We love Legos at our house, and this maker-book provides some additional pieces to create special chain reactions with your already existing bricks. Think Lego creations merged with the game Mousetrap.
This was a huge fad a few years back, but it is still fun to create bracelets and other items out of rubberbands! This book is full of rubber band projects. You don’t need to buy a name brand loom. We have several looms that we made out of a wooden block and two nails, and just use a pack of rubberbands to create cool designs.
This book includes over 50 hands on STEAM projects designed for kids. STEAM= science, technology, engineering, art, and math. If you haven’t heard the term, you will soon.
My boys loved playing with this book when they were younger. It reminds me of the colorforms that I used to play with as a kid. The pieces are all basic geometric shapes made out of a thin plastic. They are reusable and can be used to create different shapes and designs. The book walks you through different activities. So much fun!
We don’t have this book, but it looks like it would be so much fun! Edible experiments: count me in! I am planning to add it to our wish list.
These days, I think we all have a tendency to just turn to screens when we are bored and aren’t sure what to do. We check our phones, play a video game, or watch tv or a movie. But when we turn off the screen and take the time to create something, it sure feels good. Try it with your kids today!