Books Review: Two Resources for Summer Fun

Children's Party Book

Some of the most delightful resources for parents interested in children’s activities, birthday parties, or holiday and festival crafts are published by Floris Books, in Edinborough, Scotland.  I’ve personally used many of the Floris books for craft activities as they have such creative ideas, colorful photos and illustrations and easy-to-follow instruction.  I wish owned these two titles when my daughters were young.

(These are included in our Make Way for Reading: Great Books for Kindergarten Through Grade 8.)

THE CHILDREN’S PARTY BOOK For Birthdays and Other Occasions, By Anne and Peter Thomas; illustrated by Anjo Mutsaars K–7

This popular and invaluable guide contains more than 240 ideas for indoor and outdoor games, plus craft activities for children from age three to twelve. First published in 1998, the 2008 revised edition is a soft cover.

The activities are presented clearly with illustrations, diagrams, and step-by-step practical descriptions, all coded for age suitability. Special topics include: how to celebrate that special birthday; how to make and perform a simple theater for young children; how to organize parties with a seasonal theme; and how to make attractive decorations.


Big Summer Activity Book

When those days of mid-summer seem endless and you’ve run out of activities, things to make, see and do— this resource may provide lots of  ideas.

THE BIG SUMMER ACTIVITY BOOK, by Anne and Peter Thomas; translated by George Hall

From simple games to inspiring projects, this excellent resource is full of ideas for wholesome indoor and outdoor fun to keep your children busy the whole summer long. Most activity books just offer games and things to make, but this  includes chapters on child illnesses, the weather, travel tips, and activities for different environmental locales.  Includes 500 color photos, illustrations and tips for car journeys, snacks, health, and safety. Check out this Table of Contents:

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Whose holidays? – Three important factors
2. Holiday preparations: Tips for going on holiday – Parents’ questions
3. Checklist
4. In cases of illness: Motion sickness – Diarrhoea – Stomach and abdominal complaints – Sunburn – Burns – Sunstroke – Jellyfish – Sting-fish – Ticks – Lyme’s disease – Insect bites, wasp and bee stings – Travelling pharmacy
5. The weather: Sunlight – Seasons – Air currents – High and low-pressure areas – Sunrays and safe sunbathing – Ozone layer – Temperature – Influence of the sea – Wind-chill factor – Temperature and altitude – The clouds – Precipitation – Thunderstorms – Exceptional phenomena – Weather in the mountains – Weather at the coast – Weather forecast
6. The stars: Constellations – The zodiac – How do the stars move? – The winter sky – The other constellations of the zodiac – The moon – The planets
7. Nature: Trees – Nature in bloom – Animals in woods and fields – It’s small and flies through the air – In and around water – In the air 84
8. Orientation: Orientation in the wild – Discoveries in nature – Road and city maps – The compass – In the hills: altitudes – Orientation in a town or village
9. On the beach
10. In the mountains
11. Games to stretch the muscles
12. Living and playing in the countryside
13. Tig and other outdoor games
14. Playing on the beach
15. Indoor and/or outdoor games
16. Creativity with natural materials
17. When it rains
Revolving celestial chart


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