Review: My First Activity Book

Invariably, when you are the second child, there are often a lot of hand-me-downs and very few new things.  When you’re the second child that happens to be the same sex as the first child, it’s even worse.  Such was the case for Gareth.  Although we’ve bought him some new clothes to replace some of the clothes that Gavin wore to death, Gareth has inherited almost all of his toys and books from Gavin.  It seemed pointless to buy new toys when we have so many things left over from Gavin’s infancy.

Feeling a little guilty, I decided to indulge Gareth with a new book since books are always good – you can never go wrong with a book.  Books help to encourage and foster a love for reading.  Until today, Gavin’s favourite place is still the bookshop.  He loves books.  Based on the parenting books I’ve read, it is very likely due to the fact that I love books and have exposed him to a wide variety of books since he could pay attention.

While in Times Bookstore recently, I saw the perfect book for Gareth.  It’s called “My First Activity Book” by K’s Kids (the same makers of the soft toy – Patrick the dog).  I love this book because it’s bright and colourful, it’s fun and it’s educational.  I probably should also add that I have a thing for cloth books – they are perfect first books because they are virtually indestructible to little hands.

What’s great about this particular book?  When your child is small, you can just flick through it quickly to show him all the pretty pictures and colours.  As he grows older, you can demonstrate how to do the activities in the book.  Even Gavin finds the book entertaining.  There are even a couple of things in there that Gavin can still learn – such as the “buckle the seat belt” activity.

I also thought it was worth adding that most of the activities in this book are Montessori activities – learning how to button, tie laces, use a zip, etc.

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The book seals close with a button and loop and can be carried around like a little baby briefcase.

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Inside, your child can learn about buttons: how to button and unbutton the jacket.  This is a terrific learning task for your child as he will eventually need to learn how to button and unbutton his clothes.  I never had one of these activity books for Gavin so he has yet to develop the dexterity to master this task.

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What’s inside the bag?  Open the zip and see.

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It’s a little book with crackle paper inside.

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Help the little boy buckle his seat belt.  This is a tricky one – another activity that Gavin hasn’t mastered either.

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Play peek-a-boo with the octopus…

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…and spot the baby octopus under one of his legs.

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Count the caterpillar legs and play with the butterfly and the bees.

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The butterfly and bee are finger puppets that stick onto the book with velcro.

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Learn to tie a shoe lace – another activity that Gavin hasn’t mastered either.

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Match the colours and shapes to their correct positions on the page.

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Play with Bobby the hand puppet.

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And learn to tell the time.  This is probably my one and only gripe about the book – the hands on the clocks are stuck together so the clock is not very functional.  You can only show 3 o’clock, 5 past 4, 10 past 5, quarter past 6, etc.  I really don’t understand why they couldn’t make the hands separate.

Other than that, I think it’s a great book.  Although it is Gareth’s book, I often spy Gavin flicking through it and doing the activities so I guess we’re getting a real run for our money with this one…

Update: I’ve been asked where to find this book. I don’t know where they sell this particular book now, but I’ve seen the following on Amazon that look similar:

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of Figur8.net (a website on parenting, education, child development) and RightBrainChild.com (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

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