The Preschooler's Busy Book should be required reading for anyone raising or teaching preschool-age children, it is written with warmth and sprinkled with humor and insight.
Preschooler's Busy Book book contains 365 screen-free activities (one for each day of the year) for three- to six-year-olds using things found around the home. It shows parents, baby-sitters, and day-care providers how to:
Save money by making your own paints, play dough, craft clays, glue, paste and other arts and crafts supplies.
Learn how to expand your childs arts and crafts horizons by learning how to print with rollers and sponges, make super goop and silly putty, make a paper-mache piñata, a Chinese lantern, gingerbread people, a jellybean picture, play dough jewelry, spoon people, a pinwheel, a paper bag kite, party hats, an egg-carton butterfly, a noodle necklace, a feather headband, or a paper doll chain.
Prevent boredom during even the longest stretches of rainy or cold weather with ideas for indoor play like newspaper golf, magnet magic, the listening game, red light/green light, and hand puppets.
Help children learn to have fun in the kitchen making fruit kebabs, popsicles, homemade peanut butter, a happy-face sandwich, alphabet cookies, animal pancakes, finger Jell-O, popcorn ball creatures, and the best chocolate chip cookies in the whole world.
Teach your child practical skills like setting the table, putting away the silverware, sorting socks, sewing practice, and carpentry (hammering golf tees into Styrofoam, with a toy hammer).
Introduce your child to numbers and counting with activities like "One-Two, Buckle My Shoe," telling time, coin and stamp collecting, sorting a mixed-up deck of cards by numbers and learning how to find todays date on a calendar.
Prepare your child for reading by working on an alphabet puzzle, making alphabet cookies, making an alphabet book, and connecting the dots in alphabetical order to make a picture.
Get your child started with music and rhythm by making a pie-plate tambourine, keeping the rhythm to a song on the radio with homemade rhythm blocks or shakers, or make music with musical glasses (filled with different amounts of water).
Get your child moving with circle dances like "Hokey Pokey," "Skip to My Lou" "Ring Around the Rosie," and "London Bridge."
Encourage your child to enjoy quiet activities like reading wordless picture books, working on puzzles, and watching cloudsand then drawing them.
Introduce children to nature with a variety of outdoor adventures from nature walks and picnics to backyard camping, bird feeding, mud painting and making waxed leaves.
Start children growing things by planting apple seeds, avocado seeds or garlic cloves; or learning how to grow carrots, beets or sweet potatoes by putting cuttings into water.
Celebrate holidays and other occasions with special projects and activities for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, Easter and Passover.
Keep children occupied on car trips by playing "I See A-B-C" or reciting "30 Days Hath September."
Trish Kuffner lives with her husband and five children just outside of Vancouver, British Columbia. She is the author of The Toddler's Busy Book, The Preschooler's Busy Book, The Arts & Crafts Busy Book, and The Wiggle & Giggle Busy Book.