Handy Ideas to Keep Your Kids Busy
- What: 50 Science Things to Make and Do book
- When: 4 years and up
- Why: Entertain them and yourself while learning
- Where: Usborne books
I’ve raved before about how much I love Usborne books and I will do it again. If you end up stuck at home on a cold winter day with kids too sick to go to school but too well to be in bed, this book is a lifesaver. It comes with 50 educational projects you can do at home.
In theory, you have all the materials needed already lying around the house going to waste not being part of your kid’s science education. In actuality, I do not own some of these things, like plastic two liter bottles. We get those for parties a couple times a year maybe, and they get recycled shortly after, but that one item features largely in multiple projects.
My five year old daughter regularly salivates when we get to do a project from this book, and she’s been equally obsessed with it since we brought it home more than two years ago. Both my other kids get in on the action, too, as well as any other random kid we might be hosting that day. I’ve used several of the projects multiple times to entertain groups of kids in a pinch, like the foaming monster and the gloop recipe. They never fail to keep an entire group of three to seven year olds enthralled and quiet.
We haven’t done nearly all the projects yet, much to my daughter’s dismay. And beware that several of them take days to complete, as crystals grow or worms dig tunnels or whatever other natural things need to occur that can’t be rushed by even the most impatient child or desperate parent. Also, the table of contents lists projects by page number, rather than title or grouping them in any way, so it can take longer than it should to find a particular demonstration.
The only other downside to owning this book is that it might bring out the hoarder lurking in you, too, when you start to wonder if you’ll need a particular piece of trash for the next science project.