Spring Break will be here before you know it, so here are some of our Pufferbellies “Spring Break essentials” — great outdoor toys, of course, but also books to enjoy as a family, art projects to do together, and games in case of a rainy day.
1. The Mysterious Benedict Society Collection
The first three volumes of The Mysterious Benedict Society
Looking for a fabulous family read-aloud? We love The Mysterious Benedict Society. The books are full of appealing characters you’ll quickly grow to love, and surprises in every chapter.
2. Sidewalk Chalk
Crayola sidewalk chalk is a childhood classic
What could be better than a warm Spring day, a box full of brand-new sidewalk chalk and a long stretch of sidewalk (or driveway) to decorate just as you please? We also love the recipes for sidewalk paint we’ve seen floating around the Internet recently.
3. A new sketchbook
eeBoo sketchbook and colored pencils
It doesn’t have to be fancy, but there’s something about a beautiful new sketchbook that just makes our hearts pound. Encourage your child to sketch what he or she sees and experiences outdoors this season, and to share the sketches with you at the end of the day. Muriel Silberstein-Storfer, in her book Doing Art with Children, says: “…most of our concepts are wordless, even though we try to describe them. Sometimes only making an image or physical object can clarify the image.”
4. A great water bottle
Lifefactory glass water bottles
We all know it’s important to stay hydrated. At Pufferbellies, we love these glass water bottles by Lifefactory. They’re beautiful, useful, and safe — glass is naturally free of BPA, phthalates and harmful chemicals. The wide mouth makes it easy to add ice cubes or lemon slices, too.
Nothing says Spring like a stream of rainbow bubbles sparkling in the sun. German-made Pustefix bubbles (in bitty little bottles and the classic bear) are some of our favorites.
6. Stomp Rockets
Stomp Rockets by D&L
For the park, beach or backyard, Stomp Rockets can’t be beat. Just load up the foam rocket, then jump, stomp, push with your hands or ride your bike over the air-filled launcher. Watch your rocket zoom up to 100 feet in the air, run and get it, rinse and repeat. All afternoon. A staple for many Pufferbellies families.
7. The Pumponator
The Pumponator balloon filling station
An ingenious invention that makes it easier for little ones to fill water balloons. We took one to an outdoor party at Susan B’s house last summer, and it was a hit with all the children — from age 2 to age 12.
8. A bucket. (And a shovel!)
Spielstabil buckets and shovels
Our sturdy, German-made Spielstabil buckets and shovels will last through years of beach trips, sandbox play, mud-pie making and general exploring. They’re made of heavy-duty, UV-resistant plastic, so they won’t crack and fade like the cheap versions do.
9. Kidzaw Master Kitz
Master Kitz: The Starry Night
It’s bound to happen: a rainy day on Spring Break. Keep a Master Kitz in reserve, and you’ll be ready. These beautiful art kits guide children as young as five (and as old as 105!) through the creation of art based on a famous master work. Each kit makes two pieces of frame-worthy art.
10. Spot It
Whether you’re heading out of town or staying home, Spot It is a definite Spring Break essential. You’ll find plenty of opportunities to break out this little gem of a game — waiting at a restaurant for the food to come, friends over for a barbecue, or family time after the dinner dishes are done. A Pufferbellies best seller!