See Play Do, by Louise Cuckow

Let’s cut to the chase: get a copy of See Play Do for every child you know this Christmas.

See Play Do is a children’s activity book jam-packed with art ideas, recipes, and indoor and outdoor play ideas. But it is so much more than that. It encourages creative thought processes and celebrates art and the act of creation as a journey. It will inspire kids to do exactly what kids should be doing: playing with no defined result.

See Play Do was conceived by print designer Louise Cuckow after seeing her young daughter frustrated that her finished artwork “didn’t look like the picture”. There is no one “picture” to follow in See Play Do – all creations are celebrated.

“I believe in the creative power of a child’s mind and within this book of activities the aim is to move children’s play away from devices and back to natural creative play, exploration and experimentation with no prescribed end results, even if just for the duration of the book,” Cuckow says.

The mother, who has a graphic design degree and works as a fabric designer and photographer, has done an amazing job ‘styling’ the book. It is clever, eye-catching and whimsical all in one. While she is a Mum, and very obviously creative, she pulled together a varied group of contributors – from tattoo artists to scientists, to teachers and musicians. A contributor’s page allows children to learn more about the work of these creatives and their jobs.

There is also an online tie-in where you can share your own creations, browse other contributions, and listen to playlists, among other things.  Broken into four sections – morning, outside, inside, and night – there are ideas to inspire and delight children, and adults, of all ages and abilities within the pages.

Don’t be put off by previous books of similar ilk, this is a whole new, fresh level where there truly are no limits to creativity. While there are pages to doodle on, there are also plenty of prompts to get your child, and you, outside and active, exploring our beautiful world.

See Play Do is a beautiful, inspired book that focuses on familiar everyday rituals and activities by looking at them in a different way and extending them through ideas. It’s about inspiring every child to become an artist and to spend a little more time doing what they should be doing: being kids.

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TITLE: See Play Do
AUTHOR(S): Louise Cuckow
PUBLISHER: Beatnik
RRP: $24.99
ISBN: 9780994120588

Rebekah is an Otago-based mother of two young girls. The former journalist and primary school teacher has a soft spot for New Zealand authors and young adult fiction. Follow her on Twitter.

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