This year the holidays are going to be unlike any other. We may be isolating – which means less travelling – no pillow fights with friends and cousins, no late night movies with extended families. All this will be affecting children, who may be feeling anxious, bored and uncertain. Parents have to be innovative to support these young minds, and help them express themselves. There is much on the internet, but helping a child follow the instructions from a book or a printed source – be it cooking or origami, magic tricks or STEM experiments – helps the child to learn to inquire and follow instructions. With this in my mind, I am recommending a few books on creativity that will help little scientists as they explore, experiment, make, and create.

Not a Box - Wikipedia
Listen to the story

I would like to begin this post with one of my absolute favorite book, Not a box by Antoinette Portis. This book “dedicated to children everywhere” could well be dedicated to all adults who remember how in their childhood, the umpteenth times they played with cardboard or any other boxes rather than the toys on the shelves, transforming them into anything imaginable, so many dreams and secrets lay hidden in those “box transformations”. This holiday season read this cute book with the children and have fun finding out how the bunny transforms his box and is justifiably frustrated when he has to explain each transformation. Because it is just not a box. A simple interactive book with so much thought and provocation, good for 3 – 6 years-olds. Published in 2006 by HarperCollins ISBN 13: 978-0-06-112322-1


This year my five-year-old granddaughter is absolutely engrossed with Lego and while looking for a book to encourage her, I came across The Lego ideas book: unlock your imagination by Daniel Lipkowitz, a book certainly to inspire creativity in the Lego world. Divided into six themed chapters, transportation, buildings, space, kingdoms, adventure, and useful makes–and with every individual’s endless imagination kids are inspired to build new items. The LEGO Ideas Book has won a Teachers’ Choice Award, Parents’ Choice Award, and is a Children’s Choices Selection from the Children’s Book Council and International Literacy Association. There are many Lego idea books but I do like this one as it encourages to build with a variety of pieces and make do with other pieces for the lost or hidden piece. The book will inspire children and adults to love their Lego creations even more. Published in 2011 by DK, ISBN-13: 9780756686062


I have always enjoyed award-winning author Jane Bull‘s books, how she teaches and inspires children to knit, sew, cook and construct adorable animal projects. Crafty science: more than 20 sensational STEAM projects for little makers to create at home, is another one that is remarkable in many ways. In the words of the publisher, DK, “Your little maker will be filled with wonder as they explore these exciting craft projects using STEAM learning”. There are 20 indoor projects with visual step-by-step instruction and introduction to the science that is all around us. The projects have been presented in Jane Bull’s characteristic way – making it easy and fun while the children learn and play. All the project come with ‘What’s the science?’ section explaining how it works. A simple, well illustrated, engaging book that is good for 5-8 years old. Published by DK in 2018, ISBN-13 : 978-1465477682

The Ultimate Book of Origami Animals

You can expect the “Ultimate” origami book only from Fumiaki Shingu, one of the world’s leading origami experts, having published over 20 books on the subject. His book, The ultimate book of origami animals gives instructions in creating fun and easy-to-fold original origami models. From cute Panda Cubs, Kittens and Penguins to the menacing Great White Shark and Tyrannosaurus Rex spend hours with any child trying to create a few from the 120 origami animals. Make sure to have enough paper handy! The folded animal projects range from easy to challenging, and each one is clearly labeled with the difficulty level. Start with simple models and move on to the intermediate and challenging animals as you master your origami skills! For ages 4 and up : Published by Tuttle Publishing in 2020, ISBN13 9784805315453

From my years of experience as a school librarian I have seen a great interest in books on magic tricks from elementary children yet there are not many that are suited to that age. Magic tricks for kids by Phil Ackerly will definitely fill that gap. The book includes 25 excellent tricks with household props, divided by beginner, intermediate and advanced levels. Kids will love to learn these easy tricks and perform like a pro by using the scripts provided to create comedy, suspense and surprise.The explanations on how to do the tricks are easy to follow. A Note to Kids and a Note to Parents is included.  Phil Ackerly’s knowledge and his decades of experience is evident in every page. The holidays promise not to be boring with this entertaining book. Published by Rockridge Press in 2020, ISBN-13: 9781646118380


Are you worried about too much screen time for the children during the holidays? Then I suggest get this book and get the kids working in the kitchen – checking the recipes, measuring, mixing, cooking, tasting and . The complete cookbook for young chefs from America’s Test Kitchen will not disappoint aspiring chefs. With the 100+ recipes there is something for everyone to choose from. Ideally suited for ages 8 and up. Publisher : Sourcebooks Explore; Illustrated edition (October 16, 2018) ISBN-13: 978-1-49267-002-5