Unbored: The Essential Field Guide to Serious Fun Hardcover – Oct 16 2012
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“The first kids' book to truly encourage a hands-on approach to creating a personally meaningful life.” ―Mark Frauenfelder, editor-in-chief of MAKE magazine, co-editor for BoingBoing
“This is what we've been waiting for! A playful and informative journey built on exhilarating activities and adventures. This is not just a book, it's a way of life for kids and parents alike.” ―Anthony T. DeBenedet, M.D., coauthor of The Art of Roughhousing
“What a treasure trove Glenn and Larsen have created! Parents, teachers, and anyone else who wants kids to have fun--and wants to have fun with kids--will love, love, love this book. It's an amazing resource. I can't recommend it more highly!” ―Edward Hallowell, M.D., coauthor of national bestseller Driven to Distraction and Delivered from Distraction
“This year's hottest activity book for kids may well be Unbored: The Essential Field Guide to Serious Fun by Joshua Glenn and Elizabeth Foy Larsen. Gathering contributions from the likes of media theorist David Rushkoff and GetCrafty.com founder Jean Railia, among many others, the 350-page book highlights science experiments, crafts and upcycling, board gam hacking, and geocaching, and is packed with q&as and trivia.” ―Publishers Weekly
“This is the ultimate craft and curiosity book...the coolest activity book for all ages I've seen in a long time.” ―Mom Must Read, Parents.com
“A parent-and-kids guide to doing things that are smart and quirky.” ―The Los Angeles Book Review blog, Jacket Copy
“That's what I love re: UNBORED - it's for ALL, not 'daring girls' or 'dangerous boys'...” ―tweet from Peggy Orenstein, author of Cinderella Ate My Daughter
“If your kids ever give UNBORED back to you, you may want to do a whole lot of the great ideas yourself.” ―Lenore Skenazy, author of the book and blog Free-Range Kids
“Deliciously abundant...A 350 page treasure chest of games, computer fun, creative projects, nature hunts, lists, quizzes, science experiments, and much, much more. One family and childcare book we can't praise enough.” ―Barnes & Noble editorial review
“From yarn-bombing to stop-action moviemaking, from science experiments to skateboard repair, the ingenious projects contained herein will ensure that rainy weekends and school cancellations can be met with equanimity.” ―Barnes & Noble Review blog THE LONG LIST
“The coauthors of this book believe that young people are capable of much more than grownups usually think possible. And they are right! It's a guide to life - if you want an exciting and unbored life!” ―Emma Kristjanson-Gural, age 12, in the magazine New Moon
“This mixture of step-by-step how-tos, inspirational articles, comics, experts from literature puts a priority on having fun and learning new skills, all while becoming more independent.” ―School Library Journal
“UNBORED is the ZOOM! Catalog for the 21st Century, and it couldn't have arrived at a better time." "My 7-year old 'got inspiration' from this book. I didn't even know he knew the word inspiration! Highly recommended.” ―Amazon.com reviews
“In the same view as The Dangerous Book for Boys and The Great Big Glorious Book for Girls. Except without all of the vomit-inducing gender stereotyping.” ―from the momblog Coffee With Julie
“Some of these projects are messy and a few are thrilling and just a little nutty, such as the you-build-it remote-control water blaster.” ―Any Goetzman, MinnPost
“Sure to bring a new generation and new kind of maker into the world.” ―Douglas Rushkoff, author of Program Or Be Programmed: Ten Commands for a Digital Age
“This is the awesome family book we didn't know we were waiting for!” ―tweet from Homa Sabet Tavangar, author of the parenting guide Growing Up Global
“This 352-page book is filled - no, jam-packed! - with so many awesome ideas of things to do, make, think about, puzzle over, experiment with, play, and wonder about.” ―Kids Outdoors, an Appalachian Mountain Club blog
“An uncommonly brainy kids' activity book that encourages youngsters to invent, grow and melt stuff.” ―Hemispheres, the in-flight magazine of United Airlines
“A lively new manual brimming with suggestions of ways that parents can be vitally connected with their children as they are making those sometimes complicated transitions into becoming more independent and self-reliant.” ―Middletown Journal (Ohio)
“I want my daughter to read this book with a flashlight after bedtime and plot to take over the world with her friends.” ―Children's book author Jenny Offill
“Clearly, the editors know what kids are into, and I can already tell it's going to lead my son into some awesome adventures.” ―Reading Comics author Douglas Wolk
“From apps to hip hop songs, from geocaching (the world's biggest treasure hunt) to farting games, there is something here for everyone.” ―MummyAteMe.com
About the Author
Joshua Glenn is cofounder of the websites Significant Objects, Hilobrow, and Semionaut, and has authored and edited a number of books. Together with Elizabeth Foy Larsen, he writes a parenting column based on Unbored for Slate. He lives in Boston and has two sons, ten and thirteen.Elizabeth Foy Larsen was a member of the team that launched Sassy, a magazine for teen girls. Her writing on families has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Mother Jones, the Daily Beast, and elsewhere. She lives in Minneapolis and has two sons and a daughter, ages seven to twelve.Tony Leone is a principal of Leone Design. His work has been honored by the American Institute of Graphic Arts and the Brand Design Association, and has been featured in Communication Arts, Print, Graphis, and elsewhere. He has a son in kindergarten and a newborn daughter.
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As a grandparent who wants to actively engage with my grandchildren, I appreciate such activities as "Make a Secret Book Safe," "Experimenting in the Kitchen," and my granddaughters are waiting for me to help them, "Construct a Mouse House." I want to spend my time with my grandchildren in a meaningful way--not in front of a movie or TV eating fatty popcorn and drinking sugary beverages. I also appreciate that the book taps experience from my generation, such as being home alone and cooking for yourself, melting a record to make a bowl, marbles, paper football, finger games, etc. I increasingly fear that these activities are getting lost in the world of video games and smart phone apps--which is not to say that these are necessarily bad, but instead to point out that it's a rich world that we can share with our grandchildren.
As an educator, one concern I've had for a long time is the loss of project-based learning in our schools. I remember making Valentine boxes, and the designing, planning, gathering materials, making and correcting mistakes, and having a finished product that reflected ME was a good way to learn to problem solve and make decisions in a child-centered activity. Unbored provides this type of learning, which the schools, with their emphasis on direct instruction, drill, and high stakes test preparation, have forgotten how to teach. Increasingly, when we look at whether our children are well-prepared from college, we realize that they don't have these skills, which in education, are called "self-regulation (planning, problem-solving, goal setting, etc.)." I believe Unbored helps move kids to be more self-regulated and to have fun while developing this much needed skill. It also promotes autonomy--which we want kids to have in this highly complex world--the ability and confidence to handle themselves on their own.
So, hip grandmothers (and grandfathers) with Smart Phones, who aren't afraid to get dirty, make mistakes, use a little technology and engage with media, this is the book for you! I just bought four for Santa Anonymous--every kid deserves a book written just for them--and a little subversiveness is highly needed in this overprotective environment that we now foist on our children.
Unbored: The Essential Field Guide to Serious Fun
--Deborah Wassertzug, Brooklyn NY
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