It’s officially the last day of school for Faye. She’s currently running through city sprinklers with her friends and a babysitter, and despite the usual childcare and work/life balance questions to still sort out, I’m looking forward to lots of long, lazy summer days ahead.
My hopes for my kids mostly involve eating too many cherries and running through sprinklers, but I know there will be also be hours to occupy with slightly more structured pastimes. Plus, we’ve got train rides and car rides ahead of us with a newly minted five year-old eager to be entertained.
Here, a few of the coloring and activity books that have caught my eye lately, along with a few old-fashioned kids magazines perfect for passing the time.
This 176-page coloring book is hefty enough to last a summer and then some. It’s filled with illustrations from more than 80 international artists and the beautiful and inventive pages abandon the classic coloring book conceit of coloring between the lines and instead prompts kids to flex their imaginations and add their own illustrations to the pages instead. 100 percent of proceeds support Families Belong Together. Each prompt is given in English and Spanish. (More on how to support immigrants detained by the US government in yesterday’s post.)
Founded in 1946, Highlights Magazine has a long history of entertaining American kids. Yesterday, CEO Kent Johnson, issued a statement denouncing the current administration’s policy of separating migrant children from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border, urging its subscribers to join them in speaking out against family separation and calling for humane treatment of children in Federal custody. I’m sure I wouldn’t have thought to do it before, but I’m glad to consider a year-subscription to their High Five magazine in light of their leadership.
I love the look of this jaunty new coloring book from Jacinta Bunnell. It’s aimed at adults and kids who, “given the gender stereotypes pervasive in most children’s literature..want to unlearn a lifetime of gender-biased education.” Sounds perfect to me. A Spanish translation is due out later this year.
I’ve never held a physical copy of Lunch Lady Magazine in my hands, but I hope to very soon. From the founders: “Lunch Lady is a magazine where parenting is not taken too seriously but a balanced approach to family life is. Colourful, thoughtful and full-of-cheek, it reminds parents to keep things in perspective and have fun.” Sign. us. up.
Faye adores Dot Magazine from Studio Anorak. It’s a colorful, creative magazine beautifully printed on recycled paper and using vegetable inks. It’s a magazine and activity book that can be revisited over and over and we’ve had two issues on rotation for the past few years. This summer, it’s time for us to re-up.
Some of us are deep in a phase of setting our sights on advanced drawing skills around here. I’m eyeing this kid’s version of the Quarry Books How To Draw series for helping a little one intent on drawing “the right way” to feel a bit more confident in her skills. (Okay, her parents could use some help, too.)
My sisters and I had a long-standing subscription to Cricket Magazine as kids, and Click Magazine from Cricket Media seems like a perfect fit for my own science-loving kid. I’m very hopeful it could help us with all of the 7 am requests to “do science” that we’ve been getting.
This portable version of the giant Omy cityscapes beloved by my kids looks perfect for train rides to Grammy and Grandpa’s. It’s small enough to fit in a tiny backpack, but long enough to last on a protracted journey.
The longest coloring book in the world? All about the moon? Why yes indeed. Like the Omy illustrations above, I love the intricate illustrations and attention to detail. No doubt Faye would, too.
What else are you guys liking these days? I’d love to hear.
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