I was given the opportunity to review a few new Hunter House Publishing books that give great ideas for having fun with you families during the summer and all the time. These and many other such books can be found over at Hunter House Publishing!
101 Cool Pool Games for Children
It’s a fact that kids love water and that water play is a great way to keep kids physically fit. Playing games in
the pool is a fun and social way to burn calories and improve overall fitness level. Water provides more
resistance than air because of its increased density. This increased resistance helps promote better muscular
endurance and tone. The activities and games in 101 Cool Pool Games require walking, running, jumping, balancing, stretching, kicking, catching, swimming, treading water, racing on floats, diving under water, dodging sponges, pushing and pulling fun stuff in the water. The book is aimed at encouraging cardiovascular fitness and includes variations of games created exclusively by kids.
For quick access and easy-to-follow directions, the activities are organized into six sections: racing games, tag games, imagination games, team games, out of the pool water games and individual games and activities.
Since water safety is priority number one, each activity includes a recommended skill level, the type of equipment that may be needed and the recommended number of players. There are shallow water and deep water games, so whether you have a blow-up pool in your backyard or swim in the Atlantic Ocean just take the plunge into the coolest pool games!
In this age of electronic media, where we become watchers instead of doers, we tend to overlook the many wonderful ways of playing together.
About the Author
Kim Rodomista has been a fitness and dance instructor for 20 years. She has received nine certifications in fitness instruction and personal training, specializing in Kid’s Fitness. She served on the Governors Committee of Youth Fitness, worked in over 25 school systems teaching fitness to kids and has developed many successful summer camps throughout Massachusetts. She has been a lecturer at fitness seminars throughout New England. Her permanent home is in Texas, but she is currently living for a year in Quebec, Canada.
101 Family Vacation Games
Travel often presents parents and caregivers with a problem— how to
entertain their children while on vacation, away from their toys, friends, and the normal amusements of home.
Whether in a car, on a plane, at the campsite or simply hanging out at the beach, 101 Family Vacation Games has an activity that will fit the bill. Shando Varda’s book provides a simple, healthy, and engaging solution for
the family in need of diversion. Ranging from mind exercises to physical challenges, the games utilize simple props, and are a healthy alternative to the video games, television, and comic books that so often become the
quick-fix for bored children.
Organized by place (beach, car, plane), the games provide a supportive, trustworthy, and dynamic play environment, and can be used just as readily in the home or classroom. Parents can use them as a tool to meet their children as equals, act as role models, interact with them creatively, and reinforce positive behaviors.
Teachers, camp counselors, and even therapists, will also find this book a valuable resource filled with
interesting, unique, and absorbing activities. Games such as Word Tennis, Storytelling Starters and Pebble
Pictures are a great way for adults to engage children away from the home, and a wonderful tool to get kids
outside and moving around. 101 Family Vacation Games provides activities for:
- Long car, and plane, rides
- Parks and beaches
- Birthday parties
- Long days spent at home
These lively activities will create vibrant memories for both kids and caregivers, and put on end to the endless
“Are we there yet?” question. So have some fun and try some of these “boredom busting” games:
Blind Distance -Travel Game
How to Play: The driver chooses an object far in the distance and announces the chosen object (ex:
bridge, church, lake, hill, billboard). Next, all the players close their eyes. The players wait until
they feel the car has reached the object. At that time, each player will call out, “Now!” Then, she
will open her eyes. She does not say whether or not the car has actually arrived at the object. This
way, the other players can still guess. When all players have had a turn guessing and have opened
their eyes, the driver decides who the winner is. Play resumes with either the driver or the winner of
the last round choosing a new object.
Sardines– Play at Home Game
How to Play: The player designated as the hider goes and hides while the rest of the players cover
their eyes and count to a predetermined number. The hider has to hide somewhere where there is
room for others to hide as well. When the count is complete, the other players shout “Coming!,”
and try to find the hider. When a player finds the hider, she has to hide with him without letting any
of the other seekers know. This may involve coming back when the coast is clear. The game ends
when the last player finds the hider (and others who by now are squeezing in together and trying to
keep quiet). The first person to find the hider gets to be the new hider in the next round.
About The Author:
Shando Varda is a storyteller, musician, community artist, teacher, workshop
leader, and playleader from kindergarten to corporate levels. Inspired in the 1970’s by the new
games foundation’s approach to cooperative play, he now teaches and leads play with people of all
ages. He lives in Lyme Regis, Wales.
101 Movement Games for Children
This addition to the SmartFun series contains games intended to teach children how to use their bodies as a means of expression and to cultivate their social and creative abilities. The games stress excitement, humor, challenge, surprise, and cooperation, rather than competition.
About the Author Huberta Wiertsema has been collecting and inventing educational games since childhood. The movement games in this book were developed in the daily practice of her work with children and teenagers as a drama and theater teacher. She lives in the Netherlands.
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