Archive for the ‘ DIY ’ Category

Never Be Bored Again: Have Serious Fun with the Book ‘Unbored’

Friday, October 19th, 2012

Today’s a cold and rainy day where I live. I’ve got plenty to do, I just don’t plan on doing it. Instead, I’m loving a brand new book called Unbored: The Essential Field Guide to Serious Fun. It’s got a great message, “Use the world, or let the world use you.” I’m down with that.

The authors, Joshua Glenn and Elizabeth Foy Larsen, show us that we can always be up to something. We just need to take time to goof off, craft, play games and prank each other. Forget tutoring and extra homework. Instead, use your hands and brains (and old batteries) with your kids to feel feel instantly happier and more connected.

This is the ultimate craft and curiosity book. The illustrations are vivid, funny and, best of all, super clear. Have you ever heard of “The Game?” Oh boy, I wish I hadn’t read about that one. Unbored also talks about how to roughhouse in the section called “Rules of Combat.” And you know that crazy You Tube video with the exploding Coke and Mentos? (I posted it on the next page.) Unbored tells you exactly how to repeat the explosive experiment at home with your kids. (Outside, preferably near a water hose.) The balancing poses for two people, called “Circus Tricks,” will keep my young children busy for hours this weekend.

From recycling old things to learning how to curse without cursing, this is the coolest activity book for all ages I’ve seen in a long time. Build a tipi or an igloo. Giggle while you short sheet someone’s bed. Fix your bike and make a secret book safe. Unbored includes 344 pages of seriously fun stuff to do.

The kids will love the activities–younger ones need supervision but older ones can take this book and run. Mine will just have to pry Unbored away from me first. After all, I may short sheet their beds, but I don’t want them to figure out how to do it to me! (more…)

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October 2: Best Book Day of the Year

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

Happy birthday to lots of books! More will come out today than any other day this year. Publisher’s Weekly is calling it The Best Book Day of 2012. I’m just thinking it might be a good day to go shopping–there are so many great picks to choose from. Here are my favorites for October 2:

The End of Your Life Book Club 
by Will Schwable
When the author’s mother Mary Ann Schwable was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in 2007, the family was devastated. This mother and son duo–two avid and accomplished book lovers–came up with a coping mechanism: They decided to form a book club. Over chemo treatments and long afternoons together, they read everything from Khaled Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns to John Updike’s My Father’s Tears. Their discussions became bigger than the fiction–they talked about life and death. I hear this book is “astonishing” and “inspiring.” Even though it’s sad, it might help readers come to understand their own relationships with their aging parents.

Craft-a-Day: 365 Simple Handmade Projects
by Sarah Goldschadt
Some books arrive on my front porch, and I can’t stop staring at them because they’re so beautiful. (And my kids love to take off with the prettiest ones–this was in my 6-year-old’s bedroom.) Talk about an artful pleasure. The author offers a year’s worth of adorable little projects that will bring friends and family together while they have some fun. I especially like the Ladybug Card and the Candle Topper for cupcakes. Goldschadt offers a crafters paradise for all skill levels.

The Bro Code for Parents: What to Expect When You’re Awesome
by Barney Stinson–as in the Barney from How I Met Your Mother–with Matt Kuhn
If you’re looking for an irreverent book about the perils of parenting, or if you’re a big How I Met Your Mother fan, this one’s for you. ‘Stinson’ writes: “Congratulations! You’re about to have a kid? Well, Bro, you might be asking yourself a series of important questions: Will I ever be able to do awesome things again? Will I be able to afford this? Can I ever have sex again? Will I be a good parent? Am I able to love my own child as much as I love my own life? Can I ever have sex again?! Well, the answer to all of these questions is a rock solid no. But just because your life is now a petrifying turd on the canvas of life doesn’t mean your kid has to be as lame as you’re about to become.” This book advises that South Park is a great show for children. Ha!

Calm the Crying: The Secret Baby Language That Reveals the Hidden Meaning Behind an Infant’s Cry
by Priscilla Dunstan
Dunstan, an Australian parenting expert, deciphers your baby’s sounds to help you cope with those first three months. If your baby says, “Eairh,” she really means, “I have gas.” Her body will be rigid, and she will tend to make sudden, jerky movements with her chin up. Dunstan’s advice covers everything from feeding properly to figuring out the exact moment to put the baby to bed. New mothers will appreciate the specific tips that are tailored to their needs.

Today is a great day to buy a book, read a book or wish the kids would pipe down so you could at least contemplate a book. I’ll definitely be doing all of the above this afternoon.

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