Typically I don’t cry when I read through kids’ activities books, but this one set off the waterworks pretty fiercely.
It’s a special book; packed full of ideas for all those kids who don’t fall into the mainstream either emotionally, mentally, sensorily, or whatever way that might make them seem…
I happen to posses a highly abnormal child. He’s so jacked up on ADHD and maybe some other brain blips that he can barely concentrate in class, he makes it through about 2.5 minutes of homework before his attention has drifted, and his evening meltdowns have us closing the windows so the neighbors don’t call the police in alarm.
It’s scary, it’s painful, and it makes me feel helpless, but we are just in the beginning stages of getting him help, so I’m pretty raw. Thus the crying.
My son, in addition to being atypical, is also one of the funniest, most creative and imaginative kids I have ever come across. He’s sweet, thoughtful, and empathic. In short, he’s a bundle of unique traits that we are trying hard to understand and work with.
Turns out, there are other kids like him out there! And I got my hands on a pretty amazing activity book written just for these kids.
Let’s talk about the cover first: it sets the tone for the whole book, as covers are wont to do. Five little superheroes, decked out in capes strike some pretty strong poses. The title is The Superkids Activity Guide, written by Dayna Abraham. The book promises to be full of “Awesome games and crafts to master your moods, boost focus, hack mealtimes and help grown-ups understand why you do the things you do.”
This sounded pretty good to me, so Beckett and I dove right in to see what was waiting for us inside. We had a blast. It is so fun to see which activities in books pop out to kids and look interesting, and some of his favorites were:
Fairy Tale Sleepy Time Ice Pops (food, obviously)
Tie-Dye Tag, which looks like the most fun you can have making a mess
Weighted Snake Lap Buddies (he loves his stuffed creatures)
Chill Out Squish Balls (Yes, I just giggle when I typed balls)
So far, the only thing we’ve tried are the ice pops, because I was excited to write this review, but we have big plans to make the snake lap buddy next.
The activities aren’t merely the same old fun Pinterest activities for kids. Included with each one is a side box that explains how the activity can help your superkid. For example, the Chill-Out Squish Balls (heh heh) help with hand strength, emotional regulation, self-calming, self-monitoring, impulse control, concentration, and focus.
The other cool part of each activity is the little section on how to train your adult. This explains a little bit of the science behind why and how these activities can actually help. I found these blurbs fascinating and really helpful.
There are also some bonus pages in the back to photocopy and use with some of the activities and in daily life with your superkid.
Dayna empowers both kids and adults with this book, letting kids know directly that although they may be misunderstood at times, they are still amazing people and can help themselves navigate their challenges. She comes to this book with a solid background in teaching and blogging on the subject of superkids.
I recommend this book heartily with a warning: It might make you cry if you are just starting to experience your kid’s challenges and wonder what you can do to help. It might be a good cry, mixed with a frustrated cry and a relieved cry, and it might make you adore this book and all the little ways it can help you and your kids.
Find the Superkids Activity Guide here (It’s currently backordered because everyone wants a copy! But it’s worth the wait.)