Blog posts tagged with 'Busy Books'

Turkey Treats

Picture of The Children's Busy Book

by Trish Kuffner

What you'll need:

One 15-ounce package prepared piecrusts
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
Turkey-shaped cookie cutter


Preheat your oven to 450ºF. Unfold the piecrusts on wax paper. Let your child cut shapes from the pastry with the cookie cutter. Mix the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle the mixture over the shapes. Transfer them to an ungreased baking sheet and bake them for 8–10 minutes. Remove them from the baking sheet and let them cool on a wire rack.

This recipe makes about 16 turkey treats.

© copyright Trish Kuffner from The Children's Busy Book with permission of its publisher Meadowbrook Press.

Weather Walk

A creative exercise activity by Trish Kuffner

Weather Walk


© copyright 2013 Trish Kuffner from The Fitness Fun Busy Book with permission of its publisher Meadowbrook Press.

New Titles from Meadowbrook Press

Two new titles are available this fall from Meadowbrook Press!

Picture of Spanish Without Words

Spanish Without Words (Paperback, $6.00) by David Tarradas Agea is a unique and hilarious "phrase book" of almost 100 photos of the most common Spanish expressions and body language. It’s the fastest and funniest way to learn Spanish ever published.

Now, even if you don’t know a single word of Spanish, you can learn the most common greetings and expressions, dinner-table comments, hot vows of love, bargaining tricks, insults, threats and curses. This humorous book shows you how. There’s no faster or funnier way to bridge the language gap in Spain or Latin America, at family events or with friends.

Picture of The Fitness Fun Busy Book

The Fitness Fun Busy Book (previously titled The Wiggle & Giggle Busy Book)(Paperback, $9.95) by Trish Kuffner contains 365 creative, lively games and activities to keep toddlers and preschoolers busy and active. It provides great alternatives to watching TV, playing video games, or doing other sedentary activities. It shows parents and daycare providers how to:

  • Inspire a love of physical exercise with games and activities that encourage a child to move.
  • Focus a child’s energy constructively.
  • Encourage a child to develop large and small motor skills.
  • Connect music and rhyme with physical expression to develop a child’s creativity.
  • Celebrate holidays and other occasions with special games and activities that get everyone moving.

Both Spanish Without Words and The Fitness Fun Busy Book are available nationwide in stores, online, and available directly from Meadowbrook Press.

Chocolate Spiders

The Arts & Crafts Busy Book

by Trish Kuffner

What You'll Need:

2/3 cup chocolate chips
Saucepan or microwave-safe bowl
2 cups chow mein noodles
Baking sheet
Wax paper
Small red candies


Melt the chocolate chips in a saucepan on the stove or melt them in a bowl in the microwave. Toss the noodles with the melted chocolate. Have your child drop a spoonful of the mixture onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Add two candy eyes to each spider. Let the chocolate harden. Store the spiders in the refrigerator.

© copyright Trish Kuffner from The Arts & Crafts Busy Book with permission of its publisher Meadowbrook Press.

Pom-Pom Spider

A creative Halloween activity by Trish Kuffner

Pom-Pom Spiders


© copyright Trish Kuffner from The Preschooler's Busy Book with permission of its publisher Meadowbrook Press.

"Budding Author"

Picture of The Children's Busy Book

A creative activity by Trish Kuffner

What you'll need:

Paper stapled together with a construction paper cover OR a small notebook with blank pages OR an inexpensive scrapbook OR a three-ring binder with plastic page protectors OR a hand-bound volume


Let your child write a story along the bottom of each page and illustrate it with drawings, photos, or cut-out pictures.

© copyright Trish Kuffner from The Children's Busy Book with permission of its publisher Meadowbrook Press.

Leaf Place Mats from The Playdate Busy Book

Picture of The Playdate Busy Book

by Lisa Hanson and Heather Kempskie

Autumn leaves will make beautiful place settings!

What You'll Need

On a pleasant autumn day, playmates can gather a variety of fallen leaves. When inside, cut paper grocery bags into eight-inch-by-eleven-inch rectangles for toddlers, preschoolers, and school-age children. Children can then glue leaves onto these homemade place mats or lightly paint a leaf and press the imprint onto their paper rectangles. When the finished place mats are dry, cover them with clear contact paper and trim the excess.


As older children make the place mats, make each baby a bib from the same materials. Cut a bib shape from a paper bag. Show the babies some brightly colored leaves and describe their colors: “This leaf is yellow; this leaf is orange.” See if they coo or reach for their favorites. Glue the leaves to the bibs, cover each bib with contact paper, and use ribbon and a hole punch to secure the bib around a baby’s neck. (Babies should wear the bib only under your close supervision.)


Toddlers may enjoy gluing leaves onto the grocery bag with your help, but they may have an easier time creating their place mats if you skip the bag altogether. Instead, tape an eight-inch-by-eleven-inch sheet of clear contact paper sticky side up to the table and encourage them to stick the leaves directly to it. During this process, however, toddlers may discover that the dried leaves will often crumble if they try to pull them off the contact paper or if they press them on too roughly. If this happens, talk about the cause and effect—make sure they have lots of leaves! When they’re done, cover their work with another sheet of contact paper.


At this age, preschoolers have the dexterity to paint one side of a leaf and press it onto their place mat. Encourage them to use different colors of paint and different shapes of leaves to create a design.

School-Age Children

For an added art challenge, encourage school-age children to incorporate the leaf imprints into a drawing on their place mats. For instance, they can turn an imprint of a maple leaf into butterfly wings or an imprint of an oak leaf into the flames from a rocket. 

Leaf Place Mats

© copyright 2013 by Lisa Hanson & Heather Kempskie from The Playdate Busy Book with permission of its publisher, Meadowbrook Press.

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