A new children’s activity book – Bright Ideas for Young Minds – has been hailed as an aid to neurodevelopment and a resource that builds resilience by the Dunedin Study’s Professor Richie Poulton.

Written by more than 100 of BestStart Educare’s early childhood teachers, the book’s simple, mostly free activities offers parents and caregivers ways to set their children up for life.

Professor Richie Poulton says Bright Ideas for Young Minds shows there are a great many opportunities to teach, available to us all, at very little financial cost or reliance on specialised equipment or settings.

“What makes these practical down-to-earth activities so beneficial is the creation of space for shared experiences between curious children and loving parents.”

The book is a big, colourful hardback, full of visually interesting, quick to make activities for parents to do with their children. None of the activities in the book use ‘junkie stuff’ or chemicals.

Bright Minds is divided into seven chapters: Budding Scientists, Little Helpers, Inspired Minds, Outdoor Explorers, Young Artists, Critical Thinkers and Busy Bodies. Each activity has an easy ingredients list, a description of the activity and interestingly, a summary of what learning is occurring for your child.  Activities include Wet and Wild Adventures, Fizzing Chalk and Giant Ice Balls to Stomp Painting – all beautifully photographed and laid out in an easy-to-follow style. Each activity has learning outcomes so users know exactly how children are benefiting from each activity.

BestStart Co-founder, Chloe Wright, says they were inspired to support parents who are short of time but keen to use the time they have to do something fun, learning-rich and inexpensive.

“With so many early childhood teachers in our organisation, we realised we had a huge, highly skilled resource that could answer the ‘what shall we do now?’ question in dozens of different ways. We also decided to include the possible learning that each activity fosters.

“With all that in mind, together we’ve created this wonderful book; bursting with fun, creative, educational and stimulating ideas that perhaps most importantly, nurture precious family relationships.”

Bright Ideas for Young Minds by BestStart is available from bookstores nationwide and is priced at  RRP$39.95.

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