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McKay, Sharon and David MacLeod
Toronto, Somerville House, 1993. 48pp,
paper, with chalk and holster, $9.95,
ISBN 0-921051-81-6.CIP

Subject Headings:
Games-Juvenile literature.
Chalk-Juvenile literature.

Preschool-grade 4 / Ages 4-9

Reviewed by Brenda Partridge

Volume 22 Number 1
1994 January / February

Do you remember playing hopscotch or shooting marbles into drawn circles? To revive, preserve and offer new twists to these pastimes, the creators of this activity kit designed for children have included a forty-eight-page idea booklet and four large pieces (10 cm x 2 cm) of coloured chalk in a cardboard belt holster packet.

Sharon McKay, a mother of two and author of  The New Parent Survival Handbook (Macmillan, 1989) and  The New Child Safety Handbook (Macmillan, 1988), believes that our children need to spend more time out of doors. The booklet very aptly suggests sidewalk art, tossing games, hopscotch games, games of strategy and sporty games. Each section carefully outlines suitable ages for participants, the number of players, and the necessary materials. The brightly coloured, simplistic illustrations appeal to children, while the instructions are written explicitly for the organizer.

In this age of information and technology, it is important that our children learn how to read instruction manuals. Chalk around the Block offers such an opportunity. Instructions are kept to one page for each activity. Illustrations entice the reader to read the instructions and to try the activity.

The kit is suitable for home and school use. Primary and Junior physical education teachers will welcome the revival of such outdoor activities. I recommend this activity package for ages four to ten.

Brenda Partridge is a Iibrary-resource teacher at Percy Centennial Public School in Warkworth, Ontario

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