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Activity books are a great way to keep kids entertained. Pack one of these activity or puzzle books for your next long journey. To help you choose, download an extract and you can order the book too!
Help your child to develop their growth mindset as they discover how real mathematicians look at the world and how they think. Children's brains are powerful and flexible, but they need exercising and challenging to develop. In this book they will uncover the core skills that can make a good mathematician great, and be encouraged to have a go at some simple activities to help them to train their brain to become better at applying outstanding mathematic practice.
Little mouse Winston stars in a perfect Christmas adventure. Even for a mouse, he’s small but Winston’s got a big heart and when he finds a lost letter for Father Christmas he’s determined to see it delivered. His expedition is full of challenges, but along the way he’s helped by some equally warm-hearted and generous animals, including a beautiful white cat and a rat who ‘works’ at the famous Fortesque’s department store. Winston’s good deed is rewarded and the little mouse finds a warm bed and a new family for Christmas. The book is divided into 24 ½ chapters – one a day for 1st – 24th December plus a treat for Christmas morning! Interspersed are festive craft activities too and there can’t be a better book to set readers up for Christmas. Alex T Smith’s illustrations are gorgeous – big, busy and dramatic scenes but always with our little hero centre stage.
Open your front door, breathe in the fresh air and prepare yourself for lots of fun! So says Alex Gregory in the introduction to this book and it is indeed full of exciting activities that children can do outdoors, whether that’s in the park or garden or further afield. There’s something for everyone too, whether you’re the climbing trees type or would rather be making leaf prints for your bedroom wall. All activities are explained clearly with step by step instructions, illustrations and colour photos. The text makes the idea of getting out and having an adventure sound both do-able and irresistible. With space to write up your adventures this is a record book as well as a practical guide and should be the start of many memorable outdoor adventures.
These books hit the back of the net every time as far as I’m concerned. Packed full of facts, information and insight on a range of school topics, but all of them explained through football. Subjects covered include biology, via close-ups on footballers’ feet (not nearly as nice as you’d think apparently); physics – why it pays to be small when you’re dribbling (Lionel Messi anyone?); history, includes a look at the creation of the rules of football, something that took place in Sheffield in 1857; while the chapter on English is all about how to be a successful commentator. It’s fascinating stuff, and really memorable too. Anyone who reads this will learn a lot, no matter their age, and they’ll laugh a lot too – much of it is very funny, and cartoons by Spike Gerrell add to the entertainment value. Top of the league reading! One of our 2018 Books of the Year.
50 True Stories of Football's Greatest Sides | If you like football, you’ll love the Football School series of books by Alex Bellos and Ben Lytttleton and this latest, Terrific Teams is another winner! As England falls deeper in love with the national team, Terrific Teams introduces 50 other great sides, from across the world and different eras, and explains just what made them so good. As a Red, I turned immediately to page 112, to read about the rebirth of Liverpool under the great Bill Shankley and how he developed their winning strategy not in the office, but in the tiny boot room under the main stand. It’s a fun fact, but it tells you a lot. The previous entry is tiny Lewes, saved from bankruptcy in 2010 with the introduction of an inspired share ownership scheme which means there are 1,500 owners; while the entry after Liverpool, is Lyon Women, a trophy-winning machine whose former players include Megan Rapinoe, Lucy Bronze and Dzsenifer Marozsán. This is a fantastic way of examining the variety of the beautiful game, its appeal and the players and fans who make it so special. Unbeatable!
Kids love collecting and what could be bigger and better than collecting mountains? The Wainwrights Pocket Log and Tick List is a handsome little book, small enough to pop into a pocket and take up into the Lakeland fells. Conveniently grouped in accordance with the famous Wainwright Pictorial Guides, the pocket log has a dedicated page for each of the 214 Wainwright Fells and kids will love to record details of their walks and keep a tally of their achievements. With a velvet-like cover and gilded pages it has a quality feel and would be a welcome addition to any young walker's Christmas stocking.
Brain Factor is a colourful picture quiz with question cards that introduce children to the world around them. Questions feature number and pattern games, letter and blended sound recognition, shapes, mixed up stories, rhyming words and questions about the world. The questions for these age groups are picture based with simple supporting text and Milly the Mouse to guide you through. We asked a mum what she thought of Brain Factor - "Brain Factor are a range of quiz fans for children ages 3 – 7. The convenient fan format means you can read a question then slide just slide out the next card to get the answer. It is a good size for children and robust, so it’s perfect for popping in a bag or in the car so you can pull it out and entertain the kids whenever you need. A very handy product for occupying those spare moments while waiting for a bus or for older siblings etc. A great alternative to them playing on a screen. The questions cover a wide range of topics including number and pattern recognitions, shapes, letter recognition, rhymes and mixed up stories. The simple text for the 3-4, 4-5, and 5-6 fans are accompanied by colourful appealing illustrations. Each of the younger fans has an animal character who leads the children through the question and introduces them to the world around them. Milly the Mouse in the fan for ages 3-4 gets involved in everything from gardening to learning to use a pedestrian crossing. There were lots of questions in these fans that opened up broader conversations with my 3 year old daughter about the world around. She’s enjoyed going back to the fan over and over and I’ve found the question level well judged. She was able to answer plenty of them, but found others challenging. Each of the fans have somewhere between 130 – 250 questions so you get a lot of use from them. I think these fans are helping her develop skills that will be useful when she starts school, but the best thing is she loves playing with them." Vanessa Parker