'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Thursday 30 May 2019

Review: Wild Things

Are you a wild thing?

Do you like to play outside, explore nature and get creative with sticks and rocks and leaves?

If this sounds like you (or some special little people you know), you simply must check out Wild Things.

Filled with over 100 creative outdoor activities, this book is a magical encyclopaedia of fantastical nature exploration inspiration.

Make a fairy wand out of sticks and leaves. Make magical potions and spells. Discover and build dragons, create juice inks, go goblin hunting, draw, create, build and discover wild things everywhere.

Authors Jo Schofield and Fiona Danks have thought of everything in this brilliant book. It starts with all the things you’ll need for a wild things survival kit (think hats, water, magnifying glass and clay), followed by wild skills training (safety and caring for the environment, navigation, tracking, secret messages and spells and potions). 

The book is then divided into wild things to make and discover in the wilds of nature: dragons, witches and wizards, elves and fairies, mini-worlds, monsters, mythical beasts, goblins and trolls. 

The book is filled to the brim with ideas for things to make, things to find and things to imagine. And each idea is complimented by detailed instructions and photo examples to show you exactly how to do it. 

All the instructions are easy to follow and safety tips are included throughout. Depending on age, some kids will be able to run free and make their creations by themselves. Other kids might need a hand, but that’s one of the things I love about this book. It’s a book to bring adults and children together, to explore nature side by side and create things as a team. In fact, a lot of the activities are team based and would be most fun for a group of kids and adults to complete together.

I also love how the equipment needed is easy to find and the focus is on using old and recycled things to support the creation making. This isn’t a book that requires you to go out and buy a whole lot of stuff. It encourages you to use what you have and make do without what you don’t have. 

I took this book into some local bushland with a group of 5-year-olds, and the joy it sparked (for hours and hours) was heart-warming. They created things, played pretend with their creations, worked as a team, helped each other, asked questions, experimented and then wanted to do more. 

Kids and nature go to together, but sometimes it can be difficult to know where to start with nature play. Wild Things gives you everything you need (and more), to create rich and exciting nature experiences I guarantee the kids will adore.

There are experiences to be created in all sorts of landscapes and all different seasons. Forests, fields, bushland, beaches, snow — there is something in this book for everyone, no matter where you live or what the weather’s like outside.

I highly, highly recommend Wild Things for all kids plus all adults who spend time with kids. 

Title: Wild Things
Author: Jo Schofield and Fiona Danks
Publisher: Lonely Planet Kids, $26.99
Publication Date: May 2019
Format: Hard Cover
ISBN: 9781787017719
For ages: 3+
Type: Non-Fiction