For parents or daycare providers, a reference book of easy, low cost, kid friendly activities can certainly come in handy. The Siblings’ Busy Book may just be that book. It contains two hundred activities with tips on how kids in different age groups can enjoy the same activity.
Most activities are enhanced by interaction between children; however they can also be managed as individual projects. In addition, the materials required to have fun are often nominal (pen, paper, blanket) or even free (good attitude!)
Each of the eleven chapters highlights a different focus for the activities. The chapters are:
Rainy Day Fun, Let’s Pretend, Music & Movement, Outdoor Adventure, Out and About, Learning and Exploring, Team Family, World Family, Arts & Crafts, In the Kitchen, Seasons & Holidays.
Here are a few examples from Chapter 7- Team Family:
Questions in the Jar: This is a great family participation activity which also requires sibling participation in the planning.
Write thought provoking kid friendly questions on separate slips of paper and put in clean, empty jar. At mealtime, the kids take turns picking slips from the jar and answering the questions.
Examples of questions (taken from the book):
What would be the perfect day for you?
If you could take a family vacation anyplace in the world, where would you go?
If you had three wishes, what would they be?
The idea is to prompt family conversation around the dinner table while the television stays off! It’s also an ongoing activity (we need more questions for the jar!) and can be used as a game for family night. Most importantly, it helps families to really get to know each other.
Our Family Tree – A fun craft project that’s easy to do. It can also be a great gift to members of the extended family such as grandparents.
Using a few supplies, kids can create their own personal "leaves" to hang on the family tree. The common supplies are probably already available around your home or readily available at a nearby store.
Time Capsule – Create special items representing each child and store it in a time capsule. Pick a date in the not too distant future for an opening ceremony.
The book offer suggestions of mementos that the kids can create in order to encourage full involvement. This activity will feel more like an adventure!
The Siblings’ Busy Book was written by Lisa Hanson and Heather Kempskie and has received several awards. It is available online and in stores.
A free copy of this book was received for review purposes