One of my all-time favourite blogs for finding kids’ activities is Fun at Home with Kids which is written by Asia Citro. Her ideas are always amazing and the pictures of her kids enjoying their latest exploration are sure to make me smile. Asia really takes a back-to-basics approach when it comes to childhood fun so it should come as no surprise that her new book is entitled 150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids.
She asked me if I would be willing to write a review of the book (which means that I was given a free copy of the book for the purpose of reviewing it but I was not required to give a positive review). I think Asia’s activities and especially her play recipes are incredible so I would happily have paid for the book, but I’m happy to have gotten a free one!.
I knew the book was on its way and my kids (who have seen the fun things on Fun At Home With Kids and wanted to get to try them) checked the mail every day until it arrived!
We were all excited to look through and see all the fun that was in store for us. I think I was as excited as the kids were! The book is full of bright and beautiful photographs which really give a good sense of what each project will turn out like. The hardest part was choosing what to do first!
We narrowed it down to the melting ice cream dough, the crystallizing watercolours, the medieval dragon small world, the glow water, or the slime. When I came up with the idea to make holiday theme slime, they were all in for that one!
You can find the full recipe for this slime on page 30 of the book and you can add anything you want to it for extra texture or to create a theme. For the activities in the book, there are suggestions for expanding play, variations, and even ideas for creating them on a budget. The slime had several variation suggestions including polka-dot slime, which is what gave me the idea to make jingle bell slime.
When I was out shopping for the ingredients (a very short list!), I had trouble locating liquid starch. I googled “where to find liquid starch in Canada” on my phone while in the laundry aisle at the grocery store and smiled at the irony when it was Asia’s site that came up first in the search offering an answer to that very question! She writes about an alternative to liquid starch for those who live in places where it is hard to find. I later discovered that the answer to that and other supply questions are also in the back of the book for easy reference.
The kids took turns mixing the recipe together and kneading it until it became the right consistency. I was surprised how easy it was to make. It was a simpler recipe than the one I’ve used in the past.
We added green food colouring and some multi-coloured jingle bells in a few sizes to create our holiday themed slime. They loved it!
After playing with it for quite awhile, they asked me if it was the same as the Flarp Noise Putty that they get every year in their stocking. When I thought it was similar, they decided to put it to the test and sure enough, it makes the same noise. (I guess we won’t need to buy Flarp this year since we can now make our own!)
Once they made this discovery, there was a lot of laughter going on at our house! I had to tape this short video five or six times because the other kids were laughing so hard that it was impossible to hear the noise of the putty!
The book 150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids has hours of playtime fun waiting within its covers. The instructions for every project are clearly laid out, with helpful tips for troubleshooting as well.
For our family, the book is especially relevant since the activities are sensory rich and many of our kids have sensory processing disorder (SPD). We can hardly wait to tackle the next project!