The weather in the UK is never reliable. It can be absolutely chucking it down in mid July in the morning and just when you are about to call it quits on the day and curl up on the sofa, the blazing sun comes out and you find yourself manically inflating the paddling pool. I always use to associate reading and board-games with staying shut up indoors on cold miserable days, a wonderful form of escapism when you couldn’t escape out into the garden. That was before I had a child who quite simply does not go a few hours let alone a whole day, without looking at a book. Aiden can be found at any softplay that has books or even leaflets, hidden away under a slide, happily reading. It was with great excitement then that I discovered the last parcel of books / games from Laurence King’s Autumn catalogue are so versatile they are ideal for both your typical Scottish driach weather and also the sunny South (well South of Scotland anyhow) where we are visiting my folks currently. So if your little bookworms can’t get enough come rain or shine, these gems will go down a treat.
Animals at Home: Match 27 Animals to Their Homes illustrated by Claude Boldt (£12.98)
I absolutely LOVED playing pairs when I was a kid and Aiden has a few sets of pairs card games that he enjoys playing. This Animals at Home set is like pairs in that you can play many games you would with pairs (such as facing all the cards down and each taking turns to turn two over to see if you can remember where the cards are that match) but it also has that additional angle of teaching kids about animal habitats.
Straight away the subject matter caught Aiden’s attention and imagination. The opportunity to ask millions of “why” questions about where all the different animals live was just too tempting for him that we didn’t get round to actually playing a game with the set the first time we got it out. Instead we just tipped the cards out, mixed them all up and went fishing for matches.
The cards are a fantastic prompt to discuss the wildlife they depict and I think one of the main reasons they are so appealing is because of the beautiful quirky illustrations. The animals are all very fun and friendly looking and Aiden was able to identify the majority of them with no problems. The background pattern on the animal cards matches the pattern on the house cards which was really helpful for Aiden to successfully match them. The cards are ideal then for kids as young as three and will be enjoyed for many years I imagine as the different difficulties of game level can be adjusted to suit.
Sticky History of the World illustrated by Caroline Selmes (£12.98)
Who doesn’t like a sticker book?! I have yet to come across a kid who doesn’t love them and Aiden is no exception. He likes all types of sticker books but the ones he spends the longest with are ones just like Sticker History of the World because they are, in his own words, “real books.” By this, Aiden means that they contain text and information about the characters on the stickers and the scenarios they get stuck on to. As a boy with a real thirst for knowledge and a desire to always learn new facts, this is ideal for him. His imaginative play is developing a lot currently and where in the past he would just want Mummy to stick the stickers in the “correct” place, he now enjoys chosing himself and telling me his reasoning for the positioning based on what we have read about, for example the Romans and their amphitheatres.
The book is made of a card that allows you to stick and re-stick the stickers which means we are getting plenty of play out of it. There is an eight page booklet jam packed with stickers and information on different periods throughout history. The eight page card carousel pops away from the sticker booklet so you can move from one era to the next easily, there can even be some time travel for the stickers! The attention to detail on each sticker and landscape is totally captivating for both kids and adults and I must say I enjoy this type of sticker book above ‘standard’ ones.
Scary Bingo illustrated by Rob Hodgson (£14.99)
Although we could happily play with the two books/games above both indoor and outdoors, the Scary Bingo was the first that we did actually play outside as Aiden wanted to stay in the sun but I knew he needed to sit stationary for a bit as he has been running round like a madman and was close to bouncing off something in the Summer heat. We took the box out to the picnic table and Aiden had a great deal.of fun just setting it up, popping the cards out, building the calling box and learning what a caller even was. As we had passed a bingo hall in town and he had asked what it was only the day before, he was excited beyond belief to get going with a game.
The monster characters are just lovely! They are perfect as they are funny and not scary at all. (Being a Fiona myself I particularly enjoyed some if them having normal names like Fiona too!) I wasn’t sure if Aiden would understand the rules as this is his first ‘board-games’ but he got it right away. He actually became pretty competitive which was rather amusing to watch as he yelped with joy when he had a match and gave massive sighs when someone else had one he didn’t. This is a fantastic game to play with your kids but also I imagine slightly older children could set it up and play it between themselves easily enough. Since first playing at the start of the week Aiden has insisted we play again almost everyday which has made this the clear winner out of this group of wonderful Laurence King items.
If you like the look of any of these books and games be sure to visit the Laurence King website where you will find a huge selection of always wonderfully illustrated books, with great content and characters.
Disclosure: Laurence King sent us these books in exchange for a honest and fair review. As always, all thoughts are our own and honest.
The idea behind #PaperParadise is twofold. A hardback and a paperback version if you will. Firstly with the hardback linky, folks with have a central place to come and read a (hopefully) large range of fantastic blog posts on books, theatre, art, and music. I couldn’t live without any of these and am always looking to be inspired by exposure to new pieces of art. What better why to do that then through those fantastic reviews, accounts, and musings that bloggers are so good at.
Secondly with the paperback hashtag #Paperparadise I would love it is people regardless of having a blog post (or even without a blog!) would us the #Paperparadise across Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest whenever they want to share some paper love however big or small. Reading your favourite book for the 30th time and put a pic on IG? Tag the community. Equally if your kid has drawn a squiggle that is not dissimilar to a Picasso, we want to see it and hear about it.
This is a very relaxed linky. A linky for anything that started it’s life on paper. Books (a firm favourite here). Theatre (think scripts). Art (think sketch book). Music (think sheet music). Heck even film and cinema as they would have once been ideas in a note book. If you have written a review or a post about any of these things and the joy (or pain!) they bring, we would love to have you link up so we can read all about it.
Here’s the ins and outs of the linky…
Please encourage all to join in!
- #paperparadise will run whenever I have something to share with you or when I need some inspiration. It can be found right here with me at One of Each)
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