Tag Archives: #relax

Boredom Busters for the School Holidays  – the coolest activity books on the market

The school holidays are right around the corner and if they have snuck up on you as they have us, then fear not, we have found some amazing books that will eradicate any complaints of boredom over the next two weeks. But if these aren’t enough to fill the days, next week Karen is going to be sharing what’s on in the libraries over the holidays too, just in case you are running out of ideas. 

Get ready to get clicking because we know that the children (and perhaps a parent or two) will absolutely love these creative activity books. 

Absolutely Epic Sudoku by Ivy Finnegan

We all know that Sudoku puzzles reinforce logic and problem-solving and this is a bumper book of these number based puzzles.

Young puzzlers can put their number and logic skills to the test with this ultimate book of over 180 sudoku puzzles. Inside you’ll find puzzles for everyone, from sudoku beginners to number ninjas. They’re graded by skill level so that you can start wherever you feel comfortable – then level up when you’re ready for a challenge. With epic cartoon illustrations, this collection offers hours of fun and satisfaction while improving memory and critical thinking too! Fantastic fun for puzzlers aged 7+.

Everything Under the Sun: a curious question for every day of the year by Molly Oldfield

This is a wonderful collection of 366 curious questions asked by children from around the world, based on the award-winning podcast by Molly Oldfield. How much bamboo can a giant panda eat? Do aliens exist? What we would do if we didn’t have a prime minister? Why do hammerhead sharks have such strange-shaped heads? Find out the answers to these curious questions and much, much more! Find out why you taste things differently when you have a cold with Michelin star chef, Heston Blumenthal. Learn about everything from how astronauts see in the dark to what the biggest dinosaur was with experts from the Natural History Museum. Fascinating facts are accompanied by gorgeous illustrations making this the perfect school holiday activity book. Whether you read a question a day, or dip into it whenever you are feeling curious, this is a book to treasure and share all year round.

Big Life Journal, Second Edition: A Growth Mindset Journal for Children by Alexandra Eidens

This is a second edition of the popular Big Life Journal for Children (you can buy the first edition here). It’s an illustrated and guided journal for children to develop a growth mindset, and promotes social-emotional learning. Children’s negative self-talk can lead to a fixed mindset, they begin to fear failure and their self-esteem plummets. As parents, we can make a huge impact on how much our kids believe in themselves and how they approach challenges. By giving them the right tools, we help them better understand their brain and learn the importance of positive self-talk.

Big Life Journal incorporates the latest research in positive psychology, brain science, and youth development. With plenty of room to draw and write on each page, this interactive journal is a growth mindset workbook for kids to work through at their own pace as they reflect, learn and grow. And there is a different engaging activity on every page, so this is the interactive journal kids will actually want to use! A life story journal becomes a beautiful future keepsake. With a bright, colourful and durable hard cover, this kids journal with prompts contains 176 high quality pages that stand up to pencils and markers with a lay-flat design, and a sewn in satin bookmark.

How to Draw a Mermaid and Other Cute Creatures by Lulu Mayo

From a magical mermicorn and a friendly narwhal to a puppy cupid and a panda cupcake, these cute creations are loads of fun to draw. The book demonstrates how to create quirky kawaii-style characters in an easy, step-by-step way that will also have readers coming up with their own cute characters in no time. Using simple shapes, illustrator Lulu Mayo explains how to draw each mythical, magical or just plain marvellous creature. Her 30 imaginative creations are sure to keep budding artists entertained and inspired to dream up their very own weird and wonderful characters.

if you have a budding artist that you know will love this book, Lulu has written more. You can find them here.

Puzzlooies! Space Cats to the Rescue: A Solve-the-Story Puzzle Adventure by Russell Ginns, Jonathan Maier

Snag a pencil. Sink into the story. Solve the puzzles – and save the day!

Say goodbye to boring downtime and hello to Puzzlooies!, the latest in portable entertainment. Meant for kids to write in, these illustrated and compact books flip up like a reporter’s notebook, making them perfect for fast fun while on-the-go. Each zany adventure is packed with eclectic puzzles to decipher and decode, as well as jokes, riddles, and true trivia galore that’ll keep readers laughing ’til the very end . . . if they can reach it!

Sharpen your pencils and prepare for liftoff! Here come . . . Space Cats to the Rescue! In this exciting Puzzlooey instalment, Earth is in big trouble. A deadly asteroid is on its way to pummel the planet. Humanity’s only hope is a fearless foursome of felines.

You can buy more Puzzlooies here

Give This Book a Cover by Jarrett Lerner

Inspire kids to grow their imaginations with this second collection of creative activities from Jarrett Lerner, author of the EngiNerds, Geeger the Robot, and Hunger Heroes series! This collection of fun, open-ended writing and drawing prompts will kick-start creativity and challenge kids to be imaginative in new ways with every turn of a page. The Finish This Comic section features a variety of scenarios and characters inspire kids to write and illustrate a six-panel story. How to Draw instructions encourage kids to find their own drawing styles. Drawing and writing prompts and a smorgasbord of other activities add to the fun perfect for home, road trips, school, and anywhere!

Enjoy!

The top books that can help us slow down

Balance. Apparently we’re all meant to find it, embrace it and have it all of the time. The problem is, when we are busy it just ends up being yet another thing added to our ever-growing to do lists. The slow movement is one that isn’t new. There are cultures around the world that do not embrace being busy and rushing about and certainly don’t consider the idea of being stressed as a badge of honour. When we slow down we can take time to reflect on what’s important, see the bigger picture when we have problems, and find things that truly make us happy. 

In a effort to help you find a moment to yourself we have scoured the internet and collated a number of great books that all discuss the notion of slowing down. So pour yourself a cup of tea and find somewhere comfy to sit for five minutes for a readyou never know, it may be just what you need. 

Rushing Woman’s Syndrome by Dr Libby Weaver

In this book, nutritional biochemist Dr Libby Weaver explains the true cost of constantly rushing and the impact this can have on our health. Through these pages you’ll learn how and why your body interprets constant rushing as a ‘stress’, how an imbalanced nervous system may be causing you to gain weight or disrupting your sleep, why you feel tired but wired and how to identify if you have adrenal fatigue, whether stress might be behind your sluggish thyroid, how daily stressors may be affecting your sex-hormone balance and contributing to issues such as PMS, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, infertility, and debilitating menopause symptoms, why stress could be at the heart of your bloating, cravings or unpredictable appetite and how your emotional landscape holds the key to leading a fulfilling life without the need to rush. This book offers real solutions to restore your health, so that you can stay productive, healthy and energised in today’s world. Don’t let it take a health crisis to wake you up to change the way you’re living and get to the heart of what’s driving your rush, allowing you to live a more meaningful life that you love.

The flourish formula, and overachiever’s guide to slowing down by Courtney Pinkerton

Courtney Pinkerton reveals a simple yet comprehensive process that will help you slow down and accomplish and savour more of what is important to you. Courtney shares eight powerful mindset and mind-body techniques to help you break out of the “busyness fog” so you can contribute your unique professional and creative gifts and thrive in your personal life. The Flourish Formula is a bit of a self-care manual that every overachieving woman should read. Every page offers fresh insights about how to lean back before you can lean in. 

It’s about time by Valorie Burton

Our culture makes it so that even the most organised and efficient among us feels the pressure of the ticking clock and the possibility and regret of missing out. Modern life has evolved in a way that sets us up for stress, pressure, and overload. New norms and attitudes tap into deeply-wired psychological impulses that make it harder than ever to take control of your time. On top of that, many of us also have innate personality traits that make the struggle even worse. No wonder time can become a tyrant that leaves us chronically stressed and discontented. In It’s About Time, you can unlock an approach to life that bestselling author Valorie Burton calls “living timelessly.” You will come to understand the gradual changes that have led us to a place where having too much to do and too little time to do it is the norm, the vision for what it could look like if you were free from the stress of time and how to blast through the obstacles to those possibilities, and the practical steps to choosing the meaningful over the urgent so that your life is unhurried yet purposeful and reflects the values and impact that are unique to you.

It’s About Time helps you reimagine a life that is meaningful, at a pace that is natural, with a load that is doable and equips you with the tools to make it happen.

Ostro by Julia Nishimura

For some of us the way to slow down is not by sitting still, it’s by doing something…something meaningful. If you’re one of those ‘active slow downers’ then Ostro is for you. Since launching Ostro online in 2014, Julia Busuttil Nishimura has gained a strong and loyal following for her generous, uncomplicated, seasonal food. As an Australian of Maltese descent and a fluent Italian speaker, who is married to a Japanese man, Julia and her food represent everything that is good about modern Australian eating. She deftly brings together a broad range of cuisines and culinary influences using the very best produce on offer. This truly is good food, made by hand. Julia guides us through the uniquely satisfying experience of making pasta or pizza dough from scratch, clearly explaining the processes and demystifying the reasons behind them. She also shares plenty of simple, flavourful salads and one-tray bakes for days when time is scarce. Baking and desserts, too, needn’t be overly complicated – as Julia shows us, some of the best go-to recipes are the ones passed down the generations. But we also need the odd show-stopper on standby for special occasions! This is simple food that is comforting and generous in spirit. Slow down, take your time and enjoy it.

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen Rubin had an epiphany: Time is passing, and I’m not focusing enough on the things that really matter.” In that moment, she decided to dedicate a year to a happiness project. With humour and insight, she chronicles her adventures during the year she spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific research, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier. Rubin didn’t have the option to uproot herself, nor did she want to; instead she focused on improving her life as it was. Each month she tackled a new set of resolutions. She immersed herself in principles set forth by all manner of experts, from Epicurus to Thoreau to Oprah to Martin Seligman to the Dalai Lama to see what worked for her — and what didn’t. this is a great read. You can check out Gretchen’s other work here

The Art Of Simple by Eleanor Ozich

This book has the potential to be life changing. I read this in a day and absolutely loved it. When Eleanor Ozich moved to the outskirts of the city with her husband and young family she set about enjoying a much calmer way of life. Shedding unnecessary clutter and adopting a simpler style of living, Eleanor found herself with more time and energy to appreciate her family and friends and the natural beauty that surrounded her. In this, her third book, Eleanor shares recipes and ideas she has embraced in her quest to cherish life’s simple pleasures. Alongside recipes for nourishing meals you’ll find practical ideas to declutter your home, get your children to sleep and bring order to your day. There are also instructions for making natural beauty products and household cleaners, which promise to cost you less and be kinder to you and the environment. The author of My Petite Kitchen and My Family Table, in this book Eleanor unlocks the secrets to a more fulfilling life.

Enjoy!