What? Monday’s post, Get Outta Here and Go Outside, didn’t have enough suggestions for things to make and do with your kiddos during the school break? You’re STILL scratching your head wondering how you’ll make it through those long summer days? Never fear. The Handmade Experiment is here with TWO books by Rae Grant, full of activities for you and your kids to do together. Hey, there’s even some they can do all on their own. Just think, you might have fun AND get that lazy summer afternoon you’ve been dreaming of all winter. Sounds good, right? Well, let me tell you, Rae was kind enough to send me a copy of Crafting Fun: 101 Things to Make and Do with Kids and it has simply been a joy to read.
Organized by seasons, it has both crafts for young children to do with an adult or older sibling and also activities just right for kids in their early teen years. Some of my favorites include Autumn’s Tin Can Lanterns and Halloween Silhouette Cut-Outs, Winter’s Glitter Pinecones and Invisible Ink, Spring’s Paper Sled Kite and Mother’s Day Potato Print Cards, and Summer’s Spider Web Catching and Pressed Flowers. These are crafts that I either remember doing as a child myself, or wish I’d gotten to do. Am I the only one who secretly enjoys doing the kid’s crafts as much as the kids themselves?! Don’t worry, I won’t tell if you don’t.
Hardbacked and spiral bound, this book is a beautiful trip down memory lane. Some may even spark your mother’s or even grandmother’s memories! Everything from the “This Book Belongs To ________” front page to the vintage-inspired illustrations, is lovely and inspiring. I’m planning on using several of the Summer craft activities for Q’s birthday this July. We did egg carton seed planting for PZ’s birthday party in February and that was a big hit. The Paper Hats, Paper Gliders, Parachutes, and Pinwheels would all be great party activities and if you use recycled paper and materials (which you know I will!), you’ve got cheap, eco-responsible party favors as well. That’s what I call crafty!
Second in Rae Grant ‘s Fun book series is Cooking Fun: 121 Simple Recipes to Make with Kids. It mirrors the Crafting Fun book in its beautiful illustrations, lie flat spiral binding, and impressive ability to introduce classic recipes/activities in a way that is both accessible and inviting to modern kids. There are definitely recipes I know PZ and Q will love trying this summer. Already a fan of Lemonade, the Lemon-Limeade is a sure thing. Others, like Gwen’s Fruit Smoothie and Lemon Fizz, Thick and Quick Barbecued Drumsticks and Creamy Macaroni and Cheese, Icebox Cookies and Strawberry Shortcake, are recipes every member of the family can help make AND enjoy. There’s also great sections on Kitchen Basics, Equipment, Cooking Terms, How to Measure, and even Greening Your Kitchen.
This is a cook book good for tots to teens that is full of classic, feel-good American dishes that all have been kid tested and approved. Rae Grant is a talented author and artist, but she is also a Mom. Perhaps that is why she’s written two books just perfect for helping your family spend some quality time together not only in summer, but year round.
So, what do you think? Are you interested in getting your hands on the Crafting Fun and Cooking Fun books? Here’s your chance. The lovely Rae Grant has kindly given me the opportunity to host my first giveaway – one of each of her books to one of my lucky readers!! All you have to do is tell me about the first handmade item you remember making or if you can’t remember that far back (ha!) how about the first handmade item you remember making with your children. Comments will be open until Sunday night (May 3) at midnight PST, I’ll use Random.org to find the winner and I’ll announce that lucky person on Monday along with a new Must Have list. Don’t forget to leave me your email so I can contact you!
For more chances to win – tweet, blog, link back, post on Facebook, Myspace, or any other social network site, or subscribe to The Handmade Experiment. Then just post another comment for each extra thing you did, letting me know how you’ve promoted the giveaway. Thanks and good luck!
*the contest is closed. Thank you for your great comments and lovely stories! I’ll be announcing the winner tomorrow. Don’t forget to check out Rae Grant’s website for more summer fun crafting ideas!