Kids' Activity Books Review

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of each of these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

We have a spring break coming up and then it is almost time for summer break. I don't know about you but I know I will need some ideas to keep Hazel busy. Today I am going to share some fun books for kids that will keep them busy and help them learn! Our first book is from National Geographic Kids and it is Make This! by Ella Schwartz and photographs by Matthew Rakola. 

This book is for the scientist or tinkerer in your life. It is full of STEM based projects and has kids doing all sorts of things with educational outcomes and mostly household products. Do you know anyone who would love this book? I have many ideas!!

This book has so many different ideas from things to do by oneself to group activities. It will keep the kids busy all summer and learning all summer!! It is recommended for ages 8 to 12. It has eight chapters: Simple Machines, Materials, Systems, Optics, Energy, Acoustics, Forces, and Motion. Each chapter starts with a Quick Facts page like this one from Materials.

Then the chapters have several different projects to try with detailed tutorials. Each one teaches a bit about the chapter topic. Most are made with things in a regular household. Each project is rated for difficulty and tells the minimum number of people required to complete it. Some are for solo and others need two or more. 
Each chapter ends with a Solve This section. It has different situations and asks the reader to figure out solutions for them. This book helps develop problem solving skills and thinking skills as well as teaching the reader about science and engineering. It is a must get book!

Our next book is for the DIY girl. It is Girls' Home Spa Lab by Maya Pagan. And there are fun ideas for a spa slumber party as well!! It is recommended for ages 9 to 13.

This book has it all. It covers from the time a girl wakes up to bedtime. Both start and end the day with yoga. This book goes through care of the entire girl from skin type and care and hair to exercise and topics such as deodorant and shaving. It also talks about healthy habits like recharging. It has five chapters: Wake, Play, Sleep, Everyday Wellness, About Face, Hair Care, Body-Care Concoctions, and Healthy Hands & Feet. Throughout the book there are messages like "You are beautiful!" and "Shine Bright".

Then there are the recipes and tutorials to make your own beauty supplies. It has everything from face toners and soaps to shampoo and moisturizers as well as throat soother drink and other great ideas. The recipes use all natural items and there are tutorials on how to make them and how to use them. There are even some craft projects to make it feel like a spa experience!!

This book is full of recipes, advice and care that is perfect for any tween or teen. It is the perfect book for a growing young lady. I know Hazel is really excited to try some of the things in the book. 

Next we are going to look at a kid-to-kid guide for gardening. Did you know April is National Gardening Month? This book is a perfect way to get kids interested in gardening and exploring how things grow. Plus Earth Day is coming and it provides many ways to celebrate the Earth! The book is Gardening with Emma: Grow and Have Fun: A Kid-to-Kid Guide by Emma Biggs with help from her dad, Steven Biggs and illustrations by Rob Hodgson. This book is recommended for ages 8 to 12.

Emma Biggs is a kid who loved exploring in her father's garden and her explorations grew and grew and soon her father had a section in her garden. This book is about getting kids excited about gardening and learning about plants. This book is divided into four chapters: Garden ABCs, Great Gardens for Kids, A Bit of Practical Advice, and Fall and Winter Garden Fun. There are many ideas for gardens in here from vegetables, flowers to bug gardens and fruit and more. Emma loves tomatoes and has a section on growing tomatoes. 

This book goes into the details like sun, water, planting and planning. It also talks about how adults tend to like neat rows, but kids do not need to stick to formal rules. To Emma gardening is fun and she tries to share this joy with everyone who reads her book. 

The book even has some projects like the bug vacuum above. This book is packed with information and ideas that will get the kids outside and playing with nature. It is such a great book. I hope you will check it out!!

Our final activity book is an origami book. It does come with eight pieces of origami paper. It is Origami Activities for Kids by Michael G. LaFosse. This book is recommended for ages 7 to 12.

This book has some traditional projects as well as some less seen ones. It introduces a bit of culture through the projects with things like the Japanese Daruma Doll. It has the traditional origami crane or peace crane.It has the jumping frog and lotus flower. 

This book has nineteen projects to get someone starting with origami. It includes a basic explanation of the folds and steps of origami. LaFosse is well known in the world of origami.  I tried to make A Good Luck Triangle Box. I struggled with a few of the steps and had trouble getting to the final step, but finally got there. 
However I also think it was difficult to give instructions for the last step since it creates a three-dimensional shape. The instructions are typical for origami and often take a bit of time to get use to it. I love that LaFosse gives a little information about the project and what is being made. For example in the instructions below there is a bit about the lotus blossom and the symbolic connections in the various Asian and African cultures and religions. It teaches a bit about the cultures of these countries while learning origami. 

The projects are fun and range from easy to difficult. The book calls them simple, but there are some steps that beginners may find difficult. However it is a well written book and some of the projects are not seen everywhere. 

So if you are like me and are looking for activities for your kids (ages 8 to 13) to try this summer, be sure to check out these fun books!