Two years ago, we set out to revise all four of our BP Craft Books. We had two goals in mind: (1) to offer a lot more craft and activity options, and (2) to present those options in a more intuitive fashion. Our old craft books organized crafts and activities by region, which could make them hard to find. The new plan was to organize them by week of study, just like all our other materials.
The journey ended just last week, when the last of the four revised books rolled off the truck. These are some of the changes you’ll find:
- New titles: The books are now called “Hands-On Histories,” rather than “Craft Books,” to reflect the fact that they offer activities as well as crafts.
- More activities: Each book now offers at least 240 craft and activity ideas, for a grand total of well over 1,000 ideas over four years of study!
- Mini-history lessons: Many of our activities now have history vignettes to explain how they fit with the lessons for the week. Even if you don’t wind up choosing the activity, you can still learn something fun!
- At least one food-related activity per week of study.
- Cultural games all throughout! We found board games, card games and more to incorporate into our lessons.
- More pictures and better directions.
One thing that hasn’t changed is our emphasis on keeping things simple, easy and affordable. Many of our activities require only the most basic craft supplies, and some require none at all. We think that if you give them a try, then you’ll find them less daunting than you expected. You may even find that the hands-on history part of your week is what your students remember most!
My kids enjoyed making crafts for all four books over the last two years, but it was a BIG project and we are glad it is finally done! A special thanks to our creative helper Adrienne Vanderveer, who designed some of our new crafts ; and to Madeleine Jones and Victoria Shaffer, who churned out several examples for us!