As a young girl, I always thought boys had all the fun—tying knots, climbing trees, and building camp fires. How I envied the neighborhood boys when I saw them building and racing their pinewood derby cars, setting up tents, playing baseball, or wearing their Boy Scout uniforms covered with merit badges. It just wasn’t fair! I wanted to try all those things, too, but back in the late 70s and early 80s, girls weren’t encouraged to pursue such unlady-like behaviors.
Fortunately, times have changed and with the help of Andrea Buchanan’s and Miriam Peskowitz’s new book The Daring Book for Girls, my daughters and I can bravely participate together in all those bold boyish activities I wanted to do as a girl as well as share all the fun girlish pastimes I enjoyed way back when. Designed to encourage girls of all ages to be adventurous, The Daring Book for Girls was written “for every girl with an independent spirit and a nose for trouble.”
When I received our review copy of The Daring Book for Girls in the mail, my two daughters, ages 8 and 12, saw the glitzy cover of the book and immediately began flipping through the pages. It wasn’t long before they started asking when they could try the various activities inside. Over the next few weeks, I gave each of them different colored sticky notes and asked them to mark the pages that were most appealing to them. I thought the book would be more interesting to my younger daughter, but surprisingly, it was my older daughter who ended up marking over 30 different activities she wanted to try.
For my younger daughter and me, this book has been a particular godsend. Enrolled in year-round school, she has three-week breaks every three months and inevitably comes to me and says, “Mom, I’m bored. I don’t have anything to do!” Now, with The Daring Book for Girls on my bookshelf, within minutes I can find inexpensive, hands-on, non-electronic activities that she and I or she and a friend can instantly engage in.
The Daring Book for Girls has also provided a way for the girls in my family to reconnect. In our busy, media-drenched lives, too frequently we opt for the T.V. or computer screen instead of choosing to interact with one another. The Daring Book for Girls gives us a healthier alternative. Amazingly, both the 8 and 12-year-old can find activities in the book that they both like to do. And I’m armed with easy options that helps ease my mother guilt by getting me more involved with my daughters and doing activities with them that I might not take the time to do otherwise. Making cloth-covered books, identifying birds and playing handclap games are just a few of the activities we have enjoyed so far and I anticipate that this fun-filled resource will be a jumping off point for all kinds of shared adventures in the future. As a mom, I’m trying to become a more daring girl myself and this book is a great way to get my daughters to try new things, too.
Just in time for the holidays, The Daring Book for Girls makes a great gift for the girls in your life. This is a book that is meant to be used and loved. The sturdy binding will hold up on all those outings and excursions. For the price of a DVD or a couple of movie tickets, you can experience the eradication of motherhood guilt, mother/daughter bonding, and the joy of reliving your favorite childhood memories. So dare to live life to the fullest and give yourself and your daughter the priceless gift of togetherness.