Carlton Kids recently sent us some of the books from their Creativity On The Go range and they are going to be absolutely perfect for tucking into our hand luggage or stashing in the back of the car to while away the long journeys over the summer. We received the Art, Princess and Holiday-themed books, but there is also a wide range of other choices available, including Dragons, Dinosaurs, Style Queen, Horses & Ponies, Christmas, Science & Inventions, Pirates, ... there's something to suit all tastes and all occasions.
We started off looking at the Art one and I was instantly won over by the tone of the book. While toddlers and pre-schoolers are always happy to get stuck into messy play with gusto, many older children tend to lose their creative confidence and say that they are rubbish at drawing or not good at art. The opening pages of the Creativity On The Go : Art book have a little art test - are you imaginative? do you like to doodle? do you like looking around museums ? - then you're an artist !
The book takes you through a wide variety of activities, such as colouring-in, mazes and spot the differences, while introducing you to the works and techniques of a variety of famous painters, including Arcimboldo, Van Gogh and Leonardo Da Vinci, and encouraging you to use them as inspiration for your own artistic fun.
But it's not all about recreating the works of other artists - you are also encouraged to think about your own art style and get your creative juices flowing.
There are crafty things to make, such as a mask, door hanger and picture frame, and you also get every kid's favourite - stickers and stencils !
Moving on to the holiday-themed book, we found the same opening gambit - a quick presentation of what you will find inside the book (activities, things to make, stencil and sticker fun, holiday art) and the focus is firmly on your child, with a little ID card to fill in, complete with photo.
I love the fact that there are Holiday Diary pages to fill in, enabling you to create a keepsake to look back on, or - if you're not going anywhere exciting - giving you prompts for an exercise in creative writing, imagining an exotic getaway.
There are simpler activities for younger children, such as a beach quiz where you have to pick the right sticker to go with the clue (with picture hints if you get stuck) and a colour-by-numbers page.
Other activities call on your artistic abilities and creativity, such as drawing the view (real or imagined) from your holiday villa. There are also lots of ideas for ways to use the enclosed stencils, such as making stationery, bunting, a holiday scrapbook or poster.
The Princess book invites you to join in a magical adventure and proposes a multitude of princess-themed activities, including stories to write and pictures to draw, things to make (a tiara, a fortune teller, fairy cakes, a dominoes game and notelets) and even a prince and princess to play with at the end of the book.
There are the usual types of dot-to-dot, maze and spot the difference pages.
As well as drawing exercises to hone your artistic talents.
As with all the other books in the series, you get lots of colourful stickers ...
... as well as stencils that you can use for the activities in the book but also for other arts-and-crafts projects when you have finished with the book.
Each book is packed with things to do that will keep children busy on long journeys or on holiday - they're perfect for those moments of downtime in the hotel room when you need a shower or want to reapply suncream or keep out of the unbearable midday heat for a while and the kids are having a strop !
star rating : 4.5/5
Disclosure : We received the books in order to write an honest review.