Book Review – The Dangerous Book for Boys

Whether you’re a boy of 8 or 80, you’ll love The Dangerous Book for Boys!  The title sounds a little intimidating, but be sure to dive in a bit before making a snap judgement.  In these days of video games and battery powered toys that do everything except buy themselves for you, today’s unimaginative kids need to learn how to PLAY again. This book is filled with good old-fashioned, get-off-the-couch, get-out-of-the-house and get dirty ideas.

Book Review - The Dangerous Book for Boys

A perfect way to stay out of trouble but still have fun, The Dangerous Book for Boys covers essential boyhood skills such as building tree houses, learning how to fish, finding true north, and even answering the age old question of what the big deal with girls is. In this digital age there is still a place for knots, skimming stones and stories of incredible courage.

This book recaptures Sunday afternoons, stimulates curiosity, and makes for great father-son activities. The brothers Conn and Hal have put together a wonderful collection of all things that make being young or young at heart fun—building go-carts and electromagnets, identifying insects and spiders, and flying the world’s best paper airplanes.

As one reader put it, “It is perfect tinder for a young mind to fan the flames to the fire of personal wonder for the rest of their lives.”

You won’t want to put it down!  Pick up a copy today at jmcremps.com, and be sure to take a look at The Pocket Dangerous Book for Boys: Things To Do, and The Pocket Dangerous Book For Boys: Things To Know.  Happy reading!

Advertisements

Geek It Out This Weekend for the Ultimate in Family Togetherness

Picture this scenario: You’re all at home on Sunday evening and the whole family is gathered in the living room.  It’s the idyllic family setting reminiscent of the Cleaver’s. Or at least it would be; if Dad weren’t absorbed in the television, mom weren’t perusing Pinterest on her iPad, sister wasn’t snap chatting with her friends on her phone, and brother wasn’t destroying enemies on his xBox.

Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t an article about the evils of technology.  Technology is so much a part of our lives, and it is here to stay.  The trick in parenting these days is to learn to balance our technological lives with face-to-face interactions.  If you would like to get the family interacting TOGETHER instead of separately, why not try Geeking It Out next time with a family project designed to explore the science behind some of those technologies?

The next time you find your family in need of an activity that gathers everyone together, consider a family project.
The next time you find your family in need of an activity that gathers everyone together, consider a family project.  

Enter some of our favorite hands-on, bring-the-family-together books.  Instead of disregarding technology, let’s explore how that technology works in our everyday lives.  These books are full of fun, fascinating, and educational projects that will bring the whole family together.  The projects range from short and simple (How to Make a Treasure Map from a Paper Bag) to something more detailed (How to Build a Tree House.)

One of our favorites is The Book of Potentially Catastrophic ScienceIt’s chock full of hands-on and potentially “dangerous” experiments that will delight and fascinate even the biggest technology addict.  Channel your inner Galileo by building a simple telescope.  Recreate the Hadron Collider in your microwave, or discover the mysteries of the wheel all over again.

Another of our favorite books is available in a series.  It’s the Handy Book Series written by one of the founders of the Boy Scouts of America, D.C. Beard.  The Handy Book Series is loaded with practical indoor and outdoor projects, survival tips, advice, and fun.  This best-selling series is ideal for the outdoor, adventurous family.

Another of our favorite book series that is worth a mention is the Handy Dad Series.  These books are geared toward adult/child projects where cooperation is the name of the game.  In this two-book series, extreme sports athlete and TV host, Todd Davis, gathers more than 50 projects and activities sure to get kids and their parents outside and entertained for hours.

Whatever book or book series you choose, we can assure you that your whole family will be engaged as one unit working toward a common goal.  Now what more could you ask for?

*Photo courtesy of KristenKep Photography & Design

The Action Bible – The Ultimate Way for Kids to Connect with the Bible

The Action Bible is a wonderful way to get kids to connect with the stories in the Bible in their own way.
The Action Bible is a wonderful way to get kids to connect with the stories in the Bible on the visual level that they are used to.

The Action Bible is not only one of our best selling books, it’s a true work of art.  It takes a true artist to make the Bible come alive within the pages of a book an that’s just what artist and author Sergio Cariello has done.

According to his official biography, Sergio Cariello was born in Brazil in 1964 and started drawing as soon as could hold a pencil.  At the age of five, he already knew that he wanted to be a cartoonist.  And so did everyone else–he drew on church bulletins, napkins, and every surface within his reach.  He currently resides in Holiday, Florida.

Sergio has worked for Marvel Comics and DC Comics.  He attended the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art as well as the Word of Life Bible Institute in upstate New York.

The Action Bible includes over 200 fast-paced narratives in chronological order, making it easy to follow the Bible’s historical flow. The stories in The Action Bible communicate biblical messages clearly and forcefully to kids of all ages.  Each page is filled with action-packed images and clear Scriptural references.  This makes it a perfect gift for holidays, birthdays and more.

The book gets rave reviews.  One reader summed it up perfectly by saying that the Action Bible is “Amazing! This book is beautiful and is the first time our son connected with the Bible on his own.”

Get your copy today at www.jmcremps.com.

The Family-Friendly Outdoor Game Everyone Loves – Murbles

Murbles GameWhat do you get when you cross the old-fashioned game of marbles with the Bocce Ball? Murbles!  The family-friendly, play anywhere, make-your-own-rules, outdoor game.  This portable game is one of our favorites because you can play it in the backyard, the park, the beach (the balls float), on your next camping trip or your family reunion.  Best of all, this game is Made in the USA!

Murbles came about way back in 1979 when Murray, the creator, was challenged to a game of horsehoes against his retired neighbor.  For two years they played, and for two years Murray lost.  Murray decided his only way to compete, was to create his own game.  That’s how Murbles was born.

Murbles the family game you can play anywhere!
Murbles – the family game you can play anywhere!

Game play is quite simple.  The game controller tosses a white ball anywhere he chooses.  Players take turns tossing their balls as close to the white ball as possible.  Points are awarded to whoever gets the closest.  Obstacles such as tree roots, waves at the beach, lawn furniture, and even mailboxes are fun ways to make the game more challenging.

Murbles are proudly created and manufactured in the US.  They come with a 20 year warranty and can be played by kids age 5 to 105. What more could you ask for in a family game?

Murbles and other great family games can be found at jmcremps.com.  You can also find this and other made in the USA toys, gifts, and more in the Made in the USA section.  You’d be surprised how many great products are now made right here at home!

Duct Tape Project – How to Make a Duct Tape Wallet with Pockets

Here’s a new twist on the classic Duck Tape Wallet.  By adding a few pockets inside the wallet, the challenge and fun of making this duct tape creation is brought to a whole new level.

This Duct Tape Wallet with pockets is an exciting new twist on everyone's favorite duct tape project.
This Duct Tape Wallet with pockets is an exciting new twist on everyone’s favorite duct tape project.

Project level:  Intermediate (prior experience with duct tape projects is essential in making this project.  For a beginner version of a Duct Tape Wallet, click here.)

Supplies needed

Step 1 Make a duct tape fabric piece approximately 8 inches wide and 7 inches tall.
Step 1 – Make a duct tape fabric piece as shown above.
Fold up your fabric and tape the sides to form your pocket.
Step 2 – Fold up your fabric and tape the sides to form your pocket.
Step 3 Make a smaller fabric that is about 2 in. wide and 3 in. long. Make 6 of these.
Step 3 – Make a smaller fabric that is about 2 in. wide and 3 in. long. Make 6 of these.
Step 4 - 4 Step 4 Make 2 smaller pieces of fabric that are the same size as the ones above. Cut out a triangle from the top of each fabric.
Step 4 – Make 2 smaller pieces of fabric that are the same size as the ones above. Cut out a triangle from the top of each fabric.
Step 5 - Add your cut outs from step 4 to 2 of the fabrics from step 3. Add a strip of duct tape to the top of the other 4 pieces of fabric.
Step 5 – Add your cut outs from step 4 to 2 of the fabrics from step 3. Add a strip of duct tape to the top of the other 4 pieces of fabric.
Step 6 - Attach each fabric to the inside of your wallet, with the pockets on the bottom.
Step 6 – Attach each fabric to the inside of your wallet, with the pockets on the bottom.
Step 7 - Add a strip of tape to the bottom of each pocket.
Step 7 – Add a strip of tape to the bottom of each pocket. Now you’re done! Enjoy your new Duck Tape Wallet with pockets.

This project is courtesy of Duck Tape® Brand Creations and can be found at http://www.duckbrand.com.  You can find a great selection of colored duct tape, metallic duck tape, camo duck tape, and even glow-in-the-dark duck tape at jmcremps.com.  If you want even more fascinating and fun Duct Tape Projects, check out our e-book series called Warfare by Duct Tape.  The easy-to-follow instructions will allow any creative kid (or adult) to create swords, armor, shields, and more!

A Sweet Science Treat Every Kid Will Love – At Home Science Experiment for Kids

This edible science experiment kit for kids is fun, educational and yummy too.
This edible science experiment kit for kids is fun, educational and yummy too.

Science can be fun, science can be messy, and science can be sweet.  Yes, I said sweet.  Not every kid is a natural chemistry lover, but aren’t all kids natural treat lovers?  The minute you mix science and sweets together you will be amazed at how your “do we have to do science” child can change into a “can we do that science experiment now” child.  Best of all, it’s the perfect way to extend the Valentine’s Day love.  Make some candy (in the name of science, of course), and then share it with the ones you love! Win-Win!

The Candy Chemistry Set from the at-home science experiment experts, Thames & Kosmos, is our top pic for sweet science experiments.  The kit includes over 25 tasty experiments and has everything you and you’re young Einsteins need to make mouth-watering treats.  Together you’ll explore the worlds of math, chemistry and physical science.  Best of all, this kit receives rave reviews from kids and parents alike because it is fun, educational and easy to use.

The one science experiment you can eat when you're done!
The one science experiment you can eat when you’re done!

•Use this educational science kit to discover why sugar crystallizes to make rock candy.
• Study the phases of matter and discover specific heat as you melt chocolates and pour them into molds.
• Learn to use a thermometer as you cook hard candy from sugar.
• Practice measuring and conversions.
• Investigate the chemistry of gummy bears. Yum!
•And, the bonus…. discover the mysterious phenomenon of triboluminescence with wintergreen candies.  (You may not even know what that is yet, but trust us – it’s cool!)

As cool as this at home science experiment for kids is, it has one advantage few other science kits can claim. With this kit, you can eat your experiment when you are done!  This kit is recommended for ages 10 and up.

Check out all the other awesome science experiments for kids at jmcremps.com.

Winter Break Reading List for Boys

After all the presents are opened and the toys are played with, it’s time to take a break, sit back, and relax a bit.  There’s nothing better for winding down than a good read.  This is true for us as adults, and it is very true for growing boys as well.  The benefits are reading include a greater vocabulary, a boost in self-esteem, and enhanced communication skills.  Besides the long-term benefits, in the short term, when your child grabs book and begins reading he begins to relax, calm-down and focus on the present.  So after a busy holiday season, an afternoon spent curled up with a good book and a mug of hot chocolate may be just what your family needs to get back on track.

Here are a few of our favorite reads:

The Kingdom Series:  The Kingdom Series by Chuck Black takes place in the Kingdom of Arrethtrae where the King and His Son implement a bold plan to save their kingdom; where courage, faith and loyalty stand tall in the face of opposition; where good will not bow to evil.  There are six books in the complete series and starts with Kingdom’s Dawn.  This series will inspire, engage and fascinate your children from one book to the next.  They won’t be able to put them down!

My Side of the Mountain is an inspiring and fascinating best seller that generations of boys have come to love.
My Side of the Mountain is an inspiring and fascinating best seller that generations of boys have come to love.

My Side of the Mountain Series:  Jean Craighead George is the revered author of this classic, best-selling series that has been a favorite of boys for decades.  Sam Gribley, our boy hero, is terribly unhappy in his family’s crowded New York City apartment.  He runs away to the solitude and danger of the mountains where he finds a side of himself that he never knew.

This set includes the three books in the My Side of the Mountain series, along with the corresponding outdoor guide.  Books included are:  My Side of the Mountain, On the Far Side of the Mountain, Frightful’s Mountain, and every boy’s favorite – the Pocket Guide to the Outdoors.

Robot Wars Complete Series:  Set in an experimental community on Mars in the year 2039, The Robot Wars series features 14-year-old virtual reality specialist Tyce Sanders. Life on the red planet is not always easy, but it is definitely exciting. Tyce finds that the mysteries of the planet point to his greatest discovery-a new relationship with God. He talks about his growing faith and curiosity in a manner that kids can relate to as they are probably wondering some of the same things. Each book contains two exciting adventures. These books are recommended for ages 10-14 years and are perfect for the sci-fi lover in your house!

 

Summer Reading List for Inspiring Your Children

JM Cremp’s summer reading list is meant to inspire your children with stories of heroism, bravery, encouragement, and lessons in faith.  Here are a few of our favorites:

This summer's reading list is full of heroes and adventure.
This summer’s reading list is full of heroes and adventure.

War Stories: True Stories of WWI & WWII
The 20th century was ravaged by two of the most devastating conflicts in history: the First and Second World Wars. The slaughter and destruction was on such a massive scale it still haunts us today. From zeppelin raids, trench warfare, spies and secret plots, to epic encounters between colossal warships, War Stories, contains a collection of dramatic and unforgettable, true tales.  Recommended ages 8+.

Chief Joseph: The Voice for Peace
Chief Joseph was a peace chief, a great leader who truly believed his nation, the Nez Perce, could live in harmony with white people. Tragically, it was not to be. This fascinating biography separates fact from myth, and tells the compelling story of a man who tried to fight injustice with words, not weapons.  Recommended ages 10+.

Faith & Freedom Trilogy
The Faith & Freedom Trilogy is a sequel series to the Crown & Covenant series, and chronicles new generations of the M’Kethe family who find freedom in 18th century America. Adventure is afoot as Old World tyrannies clash with New World freedoms. Douglas Bond weaves together fictional characters with historical figures from Scottish and American history.  This series (and the one preceding it) are loaded with heroes, adventure, and lessons of perseverance through faith.  Recommended ages 10+.

10 Passions of a Man’s Soul
Mark Elfstrand is the morning show host of Moody Radio Network’s flagship station in Chicago. Elfstrand uses interviews with ten dynamic, powerfully gifted leaders to explore the driving passions that motivate authentic men of God. Exploring topics such as power, adventure, purpose, pleasure, and wealth, this transparent disclosure of men’s innermost feelings brings up thought-provoking questions and surprising revelations about contemporary leaders and historical figures. Readers will discover the hidden leader waiting to emerge from within themselves.

Bear Grylls – A Survival Guide for Life
Filled with exclusive, never-before-told tales from Bear’s globe-trekking expeditions, A Survival Guide for Life teaches every reader–no matter your age or experience–that we’re all capable of living life more boldly, of achieving our most daring dreams, and of having fun along the way. Here’s to your own great adventure!

Sanity Saving Road Trip Essentials

Packing and prepping for a summer road trip with kids can be a task that may leave even the most seasoned logisitics officer with weak knees.  Between packing, paying the bills, cleaning the fridge, finding a sitter for the dog, and taking out the trash, you wonder if you’ll ever get on the road.

The USA License Plate Game is a fun way to keep the kids happy on your next road trip.  That usually means that if the kids are happy - mom is happy!
The USA License Plate Game is a fun way to keep the kids happy on your next road trip. That usually means that if the kids are happy – mom is happy!

After a while, your brain turns to mush, you know you’ve forgotten something, and your inner voice keeps chanting “Let’s just get in the car. Let’s just get in the car.”   But before you do, consider the drive itself.  You know that it is only a matter of time before you hear the dreaded, “How long till we get there?”  Take a moment to delay the inevitable by packing a few of our favorite Sanity-Saving Road Trip Essentials.

  • An Interactive Travel Game –  A game that requires the kids to notice and observe the things they are driving by is not only a great way to pass the time in the car, but it forces them to look outside of the window.  One of our favorites is the USA License Plate Game.  The game centers around finding as many state license plates as possible, but the game can be played several ways to challenge everyone from kids to adults.
  • A Travel Trivia Game – Keep the whole vehicle occupied with a trivia style game.   The Trip Talk Travel Game is one of our favorites, and it is perfect for the whole family.
  • An Audio Book for Kids – In our house, audio books rule the road.  Many a happy (and silent) mile have passed by due to a good “listen”.  The Sugar Creek Gang Series is at the top of our list, but there are so many options that your biggest problem may be choosing only one!
  • Reusable Sticker Books and Coloring Books – For the younger kids, a reusable sticker book is a great way to pass the time.  There’s no mess and no fuss, and on a long road trip – that’s a good thing!  The Reusable Vehicle Sticker Pad is one of our favorites.

Tonka Trucks – Making Dreams Come Alive for Over 60 Years

Are you a truck lover?  Does your heart beat a little faster at the sight of four-wheel drive machine?  It’s ok, mine does too.  For us truck fanatics, our love of trucks didn’t start when we got our driver’s license.  It started when we were kids playing on the floor, making engine sounds, and pushing around a mighty Tonka Truck that was almost as big as we were.

Tonka Trucks
Tonka Trucks allow kids to be heroes and to dream big.

What’s so special about a Tonka Truck?  It isn’t just their construction (although they can last for generations), it isn’t only their realistic design, and it isn’t just their true-to-life detailing.  Tonka trucks are so beloved because they allow boys and girls to dream and to dream big. When a six-year old is playing with a Tonka firetruck, he’s not just playing with his truck.  At that moment, he’s a heroic fireman rescuing strangers from a burning building.  When you see a toddler pushing around a bulldozer, he’s not just pushing it.  He’s in that truck, pushing dirt and building himself a racetrack.  A little boy pushing a tractor in the driveway is, at that moment, a farmer in charge of the biggest farm in the midwest.

The reason that Tonka trucks are still popular after 60 plus years is because they allow children to become heroes, dream big, and to create their own grand adventures.  Whether it’s a Tow Truck, a Tonka Dump Truck, or a Steel Bulldozer – your child or grandchild is sure to get years of dream building and epic adventures out of their Tonka Truck.