101 Games to Play Before You Grow Up

This is a resource which parents and children will want to keep ready to hand in the battle against boredom. Comprising 101 brightly illustrated activities, it introduces a wide range of activities, some of which may be undertaken individually, and others which could involve over 20 people. The games range from the ubiquitous (Kick-the-Can, I-Spy, etc.) to the less well known (Beetles, Mancala, etc.), and all are treated with the same clarity of explanation and infectious enthusiasm.

While the concept of the book is laudable, its realisation is aided wonderfully by the illustrations of Diego Vaisberg. The danger for a text of this nature is that it could be repetitive, or too much like a To-Do-List, but the freshness of format and presentation ably avoids this. Each game is depicted visually, and its objectives, variations, and needed resources are beautifully integrated around the border of each page. The book’s robust binding also gives it the feel of a field guide, rather than a theory of how to play.

The challenges of 21st-century childhood, with the ever-looming attraction of the digital world, mean that any volume which encourages children to engage their imagination and get involved in real-word play is to be applauded. The fact that 101 Games achieves this objective in such style makes it highly recommended for children and caregivers alike.