We finally seem to have found a way for Action Man to sleep through the night. Unfortunately, the key seems to be… No day naps. Action Man is an awesome kid, but he is full on into life from 6am in the morning, so by lunchtime I’m exhausted, and so is he. He’s been a post-lunch napper since he was six months old, and letting go of this quiet time is not my plan. The biggest challenge then is how to keep quiet time, but prevent a tired 3-year-old from going to sleep.
I sat down while he was at preschool on Tuesday and created 4 quiet time activity boxes. I included puzzles, small toys, board books, audio books and activity books. In doing so I rediscovered Lonely Planet’s Adventures Around the Globe activity book.
Adventures Around the Globe
Value for money
An activity book that expands imaginations to dream of adventures around the world. Lots of stickers, simple puzzles, pictures to colour and fun facts. This book will happily occupy any 5- to 9-year-old for quite some time, and the stickers mean that younger kids can have fun with it too.
Something I’ve noticed about activity books is that they are often very cheaply made and focussed on things like pirates and princesses or the latest Disney favourite. So when I first found Adventures Around the Globe I was excited. Good content and engaging full-colour pictures. A focus on real-world adventures, rather than the improbable scenario of kind pirates.
The other key to a good activity book is obviously the activities inside. Action Man has never been a keen colourer. He’s willing to do the occasional picture but a colouring book is not usually enough to keep him occupied. And many activity puzzle books rely on a strength of reading skills not usually reached til age 7. Believe me when I say I’m not willing to wait four years for Action Man’s quiet time!
Adventures Around the Globe is mostly focussed on stickers. Brilliant. It has pages of stickers in the back, with a page number beside each section of stickers, so that, for instance, the pictures of things from India can be stuck onto the page about India. I have to force myself relax about this. Ideally I would like all the stickers to go in the perfect locations, up the correct way and aligned neatly. However, I also like children being happily occupied. So I remind myself, again, that it’s about process, not result and let them go.
The rest of the activities are fun but simple too; several mazes, spot-the-difference puzzles and matching pictures to shadows.
Age wise these activities are best for 5- to 9-year-olds. Under fives are not going to stick the stickers anywhere near the right country page without support. That said, if you show them what to do, older preschoolers would enjoy this and Action Man can definitely knows how to have fun with stickers. There are lots of facts included about each country, making this into a book that can remain on the bookshelf, just to read, even when the activities have been done.
I like that this international book includes a kiwi in the Oceania shadow matching game, but the page entitled Maori Magic is definitely a blend of NZ Maori and general pacific culture. The costumes don’t look like Kapa Haka at all, with multi-layered fringes (leaves?) worn around necks/chests. But the stances do feel familiar. Personally I’ll accept this, as I feel these books are more of a glimpse into a variety of cultures, rather than a clear picture of any one culture, but it does lower my rating a little.
A good gift for a primary school aged child. I will be looking out for the other books in this series.
Sadly, I am unable to put this book into Action Man’s activity boxes after all, as The Young Engineer noticed me reviewing it and has asserted his ownership. It’s rather clearly marked on the first page that this was his Christmas gift last year. From three fantastic cousins. Oh well, at least one child is quietly occupied.
Awesome or Average: Awesome
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