Family Friendly Books {Day 2 Giveaway}

by kath_red on 07/06/2011

in Books

I am very excited to bring you a week of special giveaways and reviews of books that are perfect for parents and kids wanting to get active, healthy and creative. Thank you to these special publishers who have donated books for the giveaways: Chronicle BooksKlutzShambhala Publications and Lark Crafts.

Each day over the next week I will showcasing some very cool books, activities, tutorials and products that will enhance your families creativity time, give you some new ideas and ways to get creative, explore the outdoors, learn about science and cooking – all with a family friendly twist.

All in celebration of Issue 4 of the Action Pack: a Mega-mag for kids who want do stuff – available now in our shop. You can also sign up for our newsletter, grab some freebies, and purchase past issues that never go out of date – all at our new website.

There is one copy of each of these books to give away – so four lucky readers have a chance to get one of these books. To win a copy of one of these books please leave a comment below telling us your favourite ‘quiet’ activity to do with your kids. Each day’s competition will be open for 48 hours.

Each day’s competition will be open for 48 hours. And the winner will be contacted via email.

Winners will be contacted via email.

Today’s giveaways are:

Rip the Page!: Adventures in Creative Writing. By Karen Benke. Published by Shambhala (Trumpeter July 2010).

This is a glorious book that invites upcoming readers and writers to explore creative writing in interesting and different ways – with techniques like brainstorming, secret codes, lists and dreams used as inventive and inspiring prompts, plus practical exercises that encourage the reader to write in the book (you might need one of these each for your kids if you are going to write in it) and just get to it! A very creative and inspiring way to encourage kids to explore their creative writing sides.

For those with younger kids you might want to check out The Write Start: A Guide to Nurturing Writing at Every Stage, from Scribbling to Forming Letters and Writing Stories by Jennifer Hallissy and also published by Trumpeter (December 2010) (I haven’t got a copy of this one to give away sorry), but it is worth getting if you have young kids and you want to get them into writing too. Jennifer has a wonderful blog with lots of resources to help you get started.

How Things Work: In The Yard (Blue Apple Books. March 2011) By Lisa Campbell Ernst.

The inner workings of 20 things kids might encounter in their own yards (such as dirt, puddles, ants and clouds) are explained with clear and simple language and with lovely diagrams – making this book perfect for early readers (suit ages 4–8.). The beautiful paper-cut illustrations are an incredible bonus.

Big Little Felt Universe: Sew It, Stuff It, Squeeze It, Fun!. By Jeanette Lim. Published by Lark Crafts (March 2011).

This is one of my daughter’s all time favourite sewing/craft books. She loves making cute and weird things – and is not so into making practical things (that’s the mum’s job). So this book is totally right for her. Plus all the projects are made from craft felt sheets which is readily available at most craft stores and very easy to work with. All the patterns are life-size (no enlarging needed) and the projects are all hand sewn – which might seem daunting at first – but it is just basic hand stitches – but it means that the projects are accessible to those without a sewing machine. Along with cute faux apples and cakes – there are also play drills and camping equipment to make too.

Hemp Bracelets (Klutz S.). Published by Klutz.

Who doesn’t like to make bracelets – this hemp bracelet kit is perfect for older (8+ kids), and great to get non-crafty kids into making stuff. And like all Klutz kits it includes all the materials and instructions to make the projects. Great value and great fun!

Disclaimer: Amazon links are affiliate links.
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1 Amanda June 7, 2011 at 5:37 am

We snip, rip, glue, collage and draw… My little ones love to repurpose the odds and ends from whatever craft I am working on to create their own masterpieces :-)

2 Nicola June 7, 2011 at 6:08 am

It’s winter here, and Mr 4 and I love to snuggle up on the couch with a blanket, a pile of books, and his favourite soft toy is chosen to join us for story time.

3 Sarita June 7, 2011 at 6:35 am

Reading, hands down, is the favorite quiet activity here!

4 Kristin June 7, 2011 at 7:08 am

Definitely reading. We snuggle up on the couch and grab a stack of books.

5 Jen June 7, 2011 at 7:09 am
6 amy June 7, 2011 at 7:39 am

Reading is our favorite quiet activity, although my middle will sit and draw for ages. With a spread in ages of kids, I get the sweetness of seeing my oldest read to his siblings, and now my middle can read to his younger sister, too. And sometimes we will all sit with our own books, even the 2yo.

7 Kate June 7, 2011 at 8:09 am

We love to read a chapter book aloud.

8 kath_red June 8, 2011 at 2:18 am

We love to read chapter books together – we call it family novel – and it has become a much anticipated time together.

9 Shalae Tippetts June 7, 2011 at 8:14 am

Reading is the quiet favorite here. Whether it’s me reading to the kids or them in their own corner, there’s nothing like escaping to another world through a book.

10 Leah June 7, 2011 at 8:15 am

Sewing! The kids have both discovered the joy of blanket stitching around felt, so we’re in the process of sewing a teddy and darth vader. It’s very relaxing!

11 Catherine June 7, 2011 at 8:30 am

Coloring is the favorite quiet activity in my house.

12 sangeetha June 7, 2011 at 8:41 am

we draw or cut and glue together

13 Gloria June 7, 2011 at 8:42 am

I love painting with them. I always start them out very young and teach them how to use the brushes and how to be careful with the handles and show them how to take the paint and place it on the paper in any way that makes them feel good. Other times, we’ll use finger paints. This is one of their all time favorite things to do and is very relaxing. They are so focused and very relaxed for hours. I always make sure I have lots of large sheets of paper. Really big sheet like from the sketch pads.

Big Little Felt Universe: Sew It, Stuff It, Squeeze It, Fun!

14 ~Heather June 7, 2011 at 8:52 am

Love the Rip the Page book and the hemp bracelets would be fun to teach the knots!
Reading Tintin books at all hours: from the 5am early waking to the 8pm bedtime book.

15 Susan June 7, 2011 at 9:22 am

I love coloring with my son. He’s just learning but that makes it all the more fun.

16 Dianna @ Sincerely Me June 7, 2011 at 9:22 am

we love drawing, reading and writing with my kids. Plus we love to read aloud and take photo’s.

17 Heather June 7, 2011 at 9:37 am

We read. Constantly. Also, while I’m not very good at embroidery, my daughter is great at it.

18 Denize June 7, 2011 at 10:00 am

A friend and I started a summer reading club. We Re hoping this becomes the favorite quiet time activity. But truth be told it is probably legos.

19 Jennifer B June 7, 2011 at 10:02 am

We like to read out loud. We are currently working through the “Swallows and Amazons” series by Arthur Ransome with our 10 year old daughter. Puzzles and games make a regular appearance at our house too.

For whatever reason I can’t get our daughter interested in crafts much :(.

20 Leslie June 7, 2011 at 10:11 am

Thanks for the giveaway! My daughter and I are taking an e-course in needle felting and lately we have enjoyed sitting on the sofa felting together!

21 Sally June 7, 2011 at 10:28 am

I’m not sure my daughter is capable of “quiet,” haha. She is 4 and has been competent with scissors and glue for years. But even more, she loves a sewing hoop with thread and needle, and she goes up and down, in and out, until she runs out of thread and we get some more. She’s not into the finished product yet, which is nice, since I usually have to cut the hoop out of all the thread that went *around* it!

22 Wehaf June 7, 2011 at 11:19 am

Coloring with crayons.

23 Jen B June 7, 2011 at 11:20 am

Our favorite quiet activity is playing with beads and pipe cleaners. We sort and count the beads, put them on pipe cleaners, bend the pipe cleaners around into different shapes and so on.

24 jessica June 7, 2011 at 11:22 am

I love to draw with my niece and nephew, it the best way to get them to talk about their crazy thoughts!

25 Jessa June 7, 2011 at 11:24 am

I love coloring with my girls. They concentrate so hard on their art, that they don’t realize the time passing by. So sweet!

26 Amanda June 7, 2011 at 11:30 am

We have family drawing time when we need to settle down. I have a box of ‘special’ drawing things (e.g. pastels, extra-nice markers, etc) that I bring out for sharing.
Alternately, we retire to the screened in porch for games…current favorite of my five year old is the card version of Pictureka. SO fun!
I’ve been wishing for a copy of Rip the Page, and MUCH enjoying the Action Pack. What a lovely family endeavor :)

27 kath_red June 8, 2011 at 2:15 am

We love family drawing time too – and have a big supply of art and craft supplies.
Our craft supplies include googly eyes, paddle pop sticks, glitter, glue, tape, cardboard boxes, textas, water colours and art paper + lots more besides.

28 Leslie @ {Tiny Wings} June 7, 2011 at 11:43 am

Wonderful books!! My kids are both older, so our quiet activities can vary. Knitting, embroidery, sketching, jewelry making — all things we all love to do, as the mood strikes!

29 Michelle June 7, 2011 at 11:48 am

I get out a bunch of my rubber stamps, stamp pads, colored pencils and markers, and the kids make stories and books with the images. Thumbprint drawings, too.

30 Lindsey June 7, 2011 at 12:08 pm

Our favorite quiet activity is a world made of lego/polly pocket/play mobile.

31 Julie June 7, 2011 at 12:48 pm

Our quiestest time, of necessity, is during church. There are several pencil and paper games that we play, some of which require/reinforce math and language skills.

32 Ashley June 7, 2011 at 12:57 pm

My little one is just over a year so we are still introducing new things. Our new favorite is playing with blocks–although sometimes it isn’t such a quiet activity if she pounds the blocks together :)

33 Terri June 7, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Our quiet time is telling eachother stories. : )

34 Wren June 7, 2011 at 3:41 pm

Is napping an option? No? Rats.

We like to color and draw.

35 Mary Beth June 7, 2011 at 4:02 pm

My daughter is about to turn one. She doesn’t like much quiet time, she would rather explore everything. But every once in a while she will sit still to read a book – which is mostly her opening and closing the book on my fingers.

36 Daydream Kate June 7, 2011 at 4:16 pm

Considering I have an 18-month-old, there is currently not a lot in the way of “quiet” activities in our house. However, there is an odd spot in our kitchen where the counter extrands all the way to the wall, but there is no cabinet filling the space. I cleared it out, and our little lady crawls in there to hide and play with spoons.

37 Sharonnz June 7, 2011 at 4:59 pm

We do a lot of reading around here all the time. They’re all learning various handcrafts they can do at the same time.

38 Lindsay June 7, 2011 at 5:30 pm

Heads Up Seven Up

39 jojoebi June 7, 2011 at 7:29 pm

reading is a big quiet time but my son has just started writing so I have made him a pile of little books that he spends ages writing and illustrating, the latest is a ninja guide book!

40 Bookaholic June 7, 2011 at 7:39 pm

These all look so nifty– nice choice again. :)

41 Christinabean June 7, 2011 at 8:33 pm

We love to workw ith glitter glue pens. She loves to squeeze out squiggles and then run a q-tip through them and mix up the colors. There is no rhyme or reason, just lots of messy fun! :D

42 kath_red June 8, 2011 at 2:13 am

We love glitter glue pens too – these never seem to go out of style!

43 Holly June 7, 2011 at 9:05 pm

Drawing together and reading are the best!

44 Amanda June 7, 2011 at 9:53 pm

My kid is only 16 months old so our favorite ‘quiet activity’ is reading books together. But nothing is that quiet with a toddler. I’m not sure at what age they learn what volume control is.

45 kristyn June 7, 2011 at 10:02 pm

with my daughters, age 7 and 8, i love to sit and quietly knit together, each working on our own project, keeping company together. it is especially nice in front of the woodstove in the wintertime.
one day my three year old son will learn to knit, but until then we like to read together, or when i am feeling like being a bit pampered, we put on one of our collection of vintage storytelling vinyl records and snuggle on the couch listening intently.

46 kath_red June 8, 2011 at 2:12 am

Hi Kristin – this sounds so lovely. \

47 Kelli June 7, 2011 at 10:49 pm

Reading is hands down our favorite quiet activity, followed by play-dough :)

48 kath_red June 8, 2011 at 2:12 am

When the kids were little we were never without some homemade play-dough in the fridge. We rediscovered it recently when the little cousins came to play.

49 Jen June 8, 2011 at 12:38 am

Besides reading time, I love it when we all sit down together with a blank canvas and fresh paint on the tray. Creating is so fun and we’re usually concentrating so much that it’s relaxing and quiet!

50 Jackie June 8, 2011 at 12:53 am

Reading and drawing. The Ed Embery books are wonderful to show kids/anyone how to draw whimsical pictures, and totally absorbs my 4 year old.
The garden and felt books look particularly appealing for my two kids.

51 kath_red June 8, 2011 at 2:11 am

We love Ed Emberley too – his fingerprint pictures are so fun to make.
His website has heaps of great activities too –

52 Rachel June 8, 2011 at 2:04 am

My favorite quiet activity is napping. :D My daughter’s favorite quiet activity is playing with her felt story boards.

53 kath_red June 8, 2011 at 2:09 am

Hi Rachel
A nap is always welcome!

54 antonija June 8, 2011 at 2:46 am

My 3 y.o daughter loves scissors! She will happily stay on the carpet and cut paper for over 30 minutes. Thats a long time for a 3 y.o to be quiet. We file the cut paper away in snap lock bags to use later for collage. And I figure the practice with scissors will pay off in a few years when hopefully we can sew together. Oh and sticky tape on a dispenser. Just have to watch the furniture and floors!
My 2 y.o son can happily play on his own on his car mat for quite a while too.
Together there is no quiet time apart from reading. And making cupcakes. Its not quiet during the making, although it is focussed, but there is quiet time in the eating of them. Shame it only lasts a short while!

55 Laura June 8, 2011 at 3:43 am

Reading stories is the favourite, but we also love drawing and stickers. Laura

56 Tove June 8, 2011 at 8:21 am

Reading, reading, reading… Both books of all kinds and my old comic books about the kindest and strongest bear in the world (a much loved character up here in Sweden).

57 Marci June 8, 2011 at 11:28 am


58 Sonja June 8, 2011 at 11:59 am

Definitely reading!!
My daughter is in 2nd grade now and it´s amazing how fast she can read. We have to go to the library every week!

59 Netta June 8, 2011 at 12:08 pm

When my girls were young they would spend endless amounts of time creating whole worlds with sculpey clay.

60 Nichole Anne June 8, 2011 at 12:26 pm

Our favorite quiet activity is a combination of reading and doing fuse beads. Reading is a major pastime in our home. The kids become so focused and excited when they come up with different designs with their fuse beads.

61 LH June 8, 2011 at 12:40 pm

Our favorite quiet activity is putting together puzzles-my son is almost two and is really getting the hang of them! It’s so fun to see his excitement when he puts all the pieces in correctly all by himself.

62 Colleen June 8, 2011 at 1:49 pm

Reading or a nature walk to see animals is our quiet activity!

63 RachelM June 8, 2011 at 2:14 pm

We love painting, glueing and using anything we can make a right old mess with. So much fun!

64 Laura June 8, 2011 at 4:20 pm

Without question, I LOVE reading to my daughter. We lay side by side on her floor and read before naptime, bedtime, or whenever she needs a break during the day. It’s relaxing, a learning experience for her, and sweet and endearing for me.

65 Kristy - Hopeful Threads June 8, 2011 at 6:50 pm

We LOVE to read!!!! Long books, short books, picture books, fun books, serious books….you should see the overflowing shelves in our home!

Thanks for the fun!

66 Wendy Hatton June 8, 2011 at 8:09 pm

My grand children love sorting through my button collection

67 Lori June 9, 2011 at 12:41 am

I LOVE sewing cards, or some people call them lace cards. I’m also a huge spirograph fan. We have one of those old sets that allows you to connect different pieces and there are so many hours fun there, and so many different outcomes- the kids never get bored.

68 Katherine of Kitten's Lost Her Mittens June 9, 2011 at 11:10 am

Drawing and reading are our favorite quiet time activities.
Thanks for the chance to win one of these cool books!

69 Kristin June 9, 2011 at 12:09 pm

Reading or coloring…nothing too creative here!

70 Tamara June 9, 2011 at 12:23 pm

Definitely reading books!

71 Autumn June 10, 2011 at 10:31 am

I love the felt book! Our favorite quiet activity is reading. I’m a bookworm and trying to instill a love of words in my children.

72 Heather June 10, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Reading is the top. We also like to draw or play with legos.

73 Shari @For the Little Doll In Your Life June 10, 2011 at 10:45 pm

We like to read together.

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