Games -- board games, card games, creative games -- all of them are great for having a good time and squirting some fabulous brain fun into the day. But sometimes, I can't always sit down and play a game with Kiddo. What to do when she wants to do some mental push-ups and I have to [insert work, fix dinner, return a phone call I forgot about, whatever the task may be]?
Say hello to the workbook. Workbook, you may be thinking, There's no way my child will sit and do some workbook. I beg to differ. The modern workbook actually is fun. My kiddo comes home from camp and asks to do a few pages...I know, shocking, but true! We love the traditional workbooks that have math and writing, but here are a few of our non-traditional workbook faves.
Doodles: A Really Giant Coloring and Doodling Book by Taro Gomi -- A workbook that stretches the imagination, this is not only a favorite workbook, it is also a favorite gift we give. With page after page of doodling prompts, your kids will jump into that creative pool and swim a few laps.
Brain Quest flashcards by Chris Welles Feder and Susan Bishay -- Right, okay, not technically a workbook, but these cool flip-flashcards are made for every age from toddlers up to middle school. They can curl up on the couch and spend an hour or so going through the mind-exercising tidbits.
Maze books -- Any kind of maze book is great for critical thinking skills and visual patterns. One on our shelf: The Everything Kids' Maze Book by Beth L. Blair, which has factoids about what the maze is all about and interesting theme puzzles.
Highlights Hidden Pictures -- Just like the ones in the popular kids' magazine of the same name, hidden pictures are a sneaky way to slip in great brain boosting skills. The nice thing about these workbooks is you don't have to be a reader as the images of what is hidden are there on the page along with the words.
Ed Emberley's Drawing Book Make a World -- Incorporate some of these fantastic drawings as illustrations in a book your kids may be creating this summer. Step-by-step instructions on how to make everything from a submarine to a castle to an anteater, your kids will love practicing and following the directions to make these images come to life. There are 400 of them...a whole summer's worth!
What are your kids' favorite kinds of workbooks? Mazes? Word finds?