allow me to gush: a review of Action Pack

[disclaimer: The review below is for a digital magazine edited by Kathreen Ricketson, the founder of Whipup.net. Many years ago I was a contributor to Whipup.net. Kathreen provided me with a copy of this issue to review free of charge.]

Long-time readers of this blog know that I had to wait a long time to become a mom. I think a lot about how to introduce our daughter to as many wonderful experiences as I can while she’s young. I’ve got this narrow window of childhood during which to get her interested and excited about things to learn and make and do so were you to come to our house, you’d see lots of parent-child projects in various stages of completion.

You can tell from the first pages of Whipup.net’s Action Pack eMag that Kathreen Ricketson must feel the same way. Issue 4 [June and July 2011] is the Great Outdoors Big Bumper Issue. This issue is the perfect idea book for every parent who has a school-aged child at home on summer vacation. There’s no advertising, just 60 pages of great ideas, clear instructions and charming images. The photography and design of Action Pack are so beautiful that we’re going to actually print out the issue to keep with us on for future road trips and camping. The activities in Action Pack remind kids and parents alike that you don’t need a lot of expensive electronics to have fun and learn a thing or two. Oh, and by the way, there’s a big, beautiful world out there waiting for you as soon as you are done playing Angry Birds.

Kathreen shows readers how they can explore the world in a very holistic way. It’s not just fun craft ideas, she’s included activities for the brain as well as the senses. There are directions for making a homemade anemometer to measure the speed of wind, great instructions for learning to tie useful knots or make a fishing pole, some fun family card games, suggestions on how to make ephemeral sculptures and recipes to try around a campfire. As a parent, this is a really motivating issue because it reminds me that summer, like childhood, is fleeting and that no one should ever spend a moment of it bored.

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