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Sainsbury's Big Book Of Summer - Review

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

I was intrigued when I saw this book for sale in my local branch.  If we are stuck for activity or craft ideas in the Summer and holidays I usually look for ideas from fellow bloggers or various craft and activity books from the library.  The £5 price tag seemed a bit expensive but I was curious enough to buy a copy after discovering, via tweeting with Sainsbury's, that the book hadn't yet been comprehensively reviewed.  There is a website promoting the book and some press release style blog posts but nothing offering a decent review of the contents and an opinion on the pack.

The pack comes with a scrapbook which you can fill in with details and photos of your holiday adventures - very handy when the kids go back to school and are inevitably asked to write about their holidays.  The pack also contains a DVD with instructions for the various craft projects and activities along with the Bumper Book of Summer and a poster with 100 stickers.

The Bumper Book of Summer contains over 60 activities suitable for ages 3 - 12 years and beyond.  The activities are colour coded according to type.  There are craft, cookery, nature, imaginary and active/energetic activities.  Each activity has a step-by-step guide along with the preparation time required, suggested activity length, minimum ideal age of participants and whether the activity is suitable for good weather, rainy days or all weather.

In my opinion £5 is a reasonable price for the product and it is good value.  For roughly the cost of a cafe coffee and muffin you get a great resource with loads of ideas for activities to fill the summer holidays and beyond.  The book is not confined to the Summer Holidays as there are activities which are suitable for all weathers and it will liven up many Half Term Holidays and weekends I am sure.

 I was both pleased and relieved that the 20 cookery activities weren't all cupcakes and sweet bakes, there are some fab savoury ideas.  Recipes cover brunch, lunch, dinner and a couple of sweet treats.

Some of the nature activities would be difficult should you live in an urban area without good transport links to the coast or nature reserves; such as beach activities, pond dipping and crabbing.  Other nature activities such as growing vegetables and flowers from seed, being a nature detective and making a miniature garden pond would be easier to do in an inner city area as most towns and cities have parks to explore and should you not have a backyard or a tiny back garden then activities could be done at friends or relatives who do.

Most activities are gender neutral and there is a good mix of sporty and creative activities as well as ideas for encouraging kids to use their imaginations both inside and outside the home.  Most activities are low or no cost which is a welcome change from some activity based books which require lots of equipment or craft materials.

There's a Sainsbury's Boredom Busting Ideas website which contains loads of activities, some from the book and some extras, should need inspiration and ideas for holiday fun and not want to purchase the book.  There are some of the instruction videos from the book on the website too.


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