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Sticks and Stones: A kid's guide to building and exploring...

Author: Melissa Lennig
Lower Age: 8
Upper Age: 13
Year Added: 2019

Sticks and Stones: A kid’s guide to building and exploring in the great outdoors, a book written by Melissa Lennig, provides different projects for kids between the ages of 8 and 13 to do outdoors. While this is a great book for families with easy access to the outdoors, it could be very hard for families that live in urban areas to complete the activities. At the beginning of the book,an introduction explains how to use the book, where to play, risk considerations, and rules. There are 30 projects in total, separated equally into 3 themed sections. The first section is about creating and building with logs, the second section has projects involving sticks, and the third section has projects involving rocks. Beginning each project is a description of the skills the child is going to develop, a description of the end product, a list of materials and tools needed, and some safety tips before finally outlining the process to successfully complete the project. A very welcome inclusion is the “design challenge” that goes alongside every project, the idea being that the reader would have to create another design using the same skills they just learned. There is also a “take it further” part, which is in the same vein, but a little more challenging. 

    This is a book that inspires a lot of creative thinking while building the activities, as well as critical thinking, since it challenges the child to take the activity one step further and think outside the box. The book is intended as a guide where the child uses their imagination to modify the design, perhaps making it even bigger! The book also encourages working collaboratively with others. Sticks and Stones: A kid’s guide to building and exploring in the great outdoors is a unique take on typical engineering projects that does quite a nice job at teaching what it sets out to teach.