Reviews of UNBORED

Here is a complete-ish list of all the magazine, newspaper, and website reviews of UNBORED, so far. We’re very grateful!



“Fighting the war against techno-passivity is in part what inspired [UNBORED]. With how-to ideas like making LED graffiti and get-out-and-explore manifestoes by the illustrator Joe Alterio and others, it reads like an old-fashioned child’s activity book for a modern Gen-X parented family.” New York Times

New York Magazine’s Approval Matrix — click for larger version

“Exactly the book parents need during a weeklong school break that feels like a month.”
New York magazine’s APPROVAL MATRIX

“This year’s hottest activity book for kids may well be UNBORED. The 350-page book highlights science experiments, crafts and upcycling, board game hacking, and geocaching.”
Publisher’s Weekly DIY CRAFTS BOOKS 2012 round-up

“It’s a book! It’s a guide! It’s a way of life!”
Los Angeles Magazine

“The summer’s must-have activity book.”
The Daily Telegraph (UK)

“I recently discovered a lifestyle book that encourages nieces and nephews to use not only their tech skills but their natural curiosity to be creative, try new things, figure out how things and systems work, and just maybe change the world in the process. Yes, this book can actually have a really meaningful, positive influence on the children you love most. Sincerely — one of my FAVE books of 2012!”
— Melanie Notkin (SAVVY AUNTIE)

“Its over 350 beautifully designed and illustrated pages encourage kids to use their natural curiosity and skills to be creative and to try to change the world. Activities include science experiments, crafts, upcycling, board game hacking, code-cracking, geocaching, by famous contributors from places like Etsy, MAKE magazine, BOINGBOING and more.”
WIRED’s GeekDad Holiday Gift Guide

“For the younger geeks out there comes a great guide to learning and having fun in life. From classic science experiments to geocaching to skateboard repair, UNBORED provides a wealth of knowledge about a wide variety of subjects. There’s even an entire section on fart games. The book is beautifully illustrated and really does teach some great stuff, inspiring kids to learn more without taking itself too seriously. While aimed at kids, I’m sure there’s an adult geek or two out there who might get caught sneaking a peek every now and then.”
— from the blog BROADSHEET 360

“Probably the best do-it-yourself and activity book for children I’ve seen. The variety of projects is astounding, and it’s modern and appealing to kids and adults. Many contemporary kids’ activity books are rehashes of the old “Handy Book For Boys and Girls” that aren’t much fun and, in my opinion, not very accurate…. UNBORED has real projects that were actually tested out.”
— from the blog BOINGBOING

“A parent-and-kids guide to doing things that are smart and quirky.”
— from The Los Angeles Times Book Review blog, JACKET COPY.

“The quintessential guide for today’s tech-savvy and socially engaged kids. The book never loses sight of the many ways kids can and should make time for some honest-to-goodness fun.”
Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Of the legions of activity books promising to drag your children away from the screen and to engage them in creative, life-enhancing activities UNBORED is the very best I have come across.”
— Daisy Bridgewater, in The Daily Telegraph (UK)

“Glenn and Larsen have called on a merry band of contributors, including Glenn’s two sons, in putting together a kids’ activities book packed with easy-to-follow instructions, whimsical illustrations, and interviews with leading thinkers on subjects such as feminism and bullying. The aim is to empower kids to be kind to the earth and each other and to understand that you don’t need to spend money to have fun.”
The Boston Globe

Review from WOMAN’S WEEKLY (UK)

“A great gift for kids and parents, and has even earned a seal of approval from an ADHD expert — my parents could have used this when I was growing up!”
— from the USA TODAY blog POP CANDY

“A zillion high and low-tech project ideas and suggestions for amusing yourself.”
— from the teacher-maker resources blog CONSTRUCTING MODERN KNOWLEDGE

“Parents will appreciate how the information can round out their children’s worldview and give their imaginations a chance to function in the real world, beyond a screen. This book will encourage kids to use their technical skills as well as their natural curiosity to be creative, try new things, figure out how things and systems work, and just maybe change the world in the process.”
Parents & Kids Magazine

“It’s more than an activity guide; it’s a kids’ guide to a sustainable, exciting, imaginative, and above all else independent lifestyle.”
— from the DESIGN OBSERVER blog

“A comprehensive program of boredom-killing activities for kids and their parents… This veritable bible of self-reliance would have had Emerson dancing for joy at the assembled ingredients for a productive and well-examined life: You get what you want by understanding who you are, redefining what you want and learning to ‘create instead of consume.'”

“If you can’t find an exciting activity to do in this book, there might be something wrong with you. It’s packed with fun projects such as science experiments and tips for making your own movies.”
Sports Illustrated Kids

“A 350-page treasure chest of games, computer fun, creative projects, nature hunts, lists, quizzes, science experiments, and much, much more. One family and childcare book we can’t praise enough.”
— Barnes & Noble editorial review.

“A collection of inspiring activities involving creativity, intelligence and problem-solving, which will fascinate older children and save them from boredom, and you from resorting to TV or computer games.”
The Lady (UK)

“From yarn-bombing to stop-action moviemaking, from science experiments to skateboard repair, the ingenious projects contained herein will ensure that rainy weekends and school cancellations can be met with equanimity.”
— from the Barnes & Noble Review blog THE LONG LIST

“The coauthors of this book believe that young people are capable of much more than grownups usually think possible. And they are right! It’s a guide to life — if you want an exciting and unbored life!”
— 12-year-old reviewer, in New Moon Magazine

“AWESOME BOOK ALERT! One of my students brought UNBORED in as recommended summer reading and I couldn’t get enough of it. There is something in here for every kid… So happy to have stumbled upon it.”
— from the VERYMERI blog

“Some of these projects are messy and a few are thrilling and just a little nutty.”

“An uncommonly brainy kids’ activity book that encourages youngsters to invent, grow and melt stuff.”
Hemispheres, the in-flight magazine of United Airlines

“A lively new manual brimming with suggestions of ways that parents can be vitally connected with their children as they are making those sometimes complicated transitions into becoming more independent and self-reliant.”
Middletown Journal

“With the activities in UNBORED, the process is as important as the result.”
— Minnesota Public Radio News

“This book has a much more modern feel to it compared to similar titles, incorporating sections on blogging, geocaching, and using smartphone apps to make changes; while still bringing together classics like hand games, conkers, back-of-the-classroom games, decoupage, and making your own board game.”
— from the YA lit blog EX LIBRIS

“The book is loaded with projects, games, experiments and just plain fun that will get kids and adults off the couch. There’s a pleasingly subversive undercurrent to the book that rejects convenience and consumer product abundance and the boredom it can breed. The great sense of curiosity and exploration within the pages of UNBORED is the antidote.”
MAKE Magazine

“Philanthropic, creative, smart, interesting — this is a book all kids should own. And use.”
— from the Australian children’s bookseller Boomerang Books

“This mixture of step-by-step how-tos, inspirational articles, comics, and excerpts from literature puts a priority on having fun and learning new skills, all while becoming more independent.”
School Library Journal

“Glenn and Larsen have a solution — actually hundreds of solutions — to the problem of having nothing to do… Kids and parents alike will get a kick out of these projects.”
— from the blog THE WRITER’S JOURNEY

“After reading this unique field guide, I predict you will… 1. share weird facts about condiments with random people; 2. encourage everyone to play coin hockey; 3. shoot and edit a stop-action movie.”
— from the librarian blog MR. SCHU READS

“This fantastic and creative response to any bored young person (or adult) proves that there’s no excuse for boredom — there’s so much to do. As this thick and endlessly creative book details, there are activities and explorations for anyone in need of something new to try or even something to fill five minutes.”
— Brookline Booksmith Holiday Gift Guide

“An amazing collection of weird and wonderful things for children to do from clapping games and circus games to bicycle maintenance and knot tying.”
— Countryside (U.K.)

“Whether home or away, inside or out, online or off, UNBORED is jam-packed with ideas to keep the whole family busy, make a difference, and have maximum fun. The authors sought input from kid experts everywhere to create a compendium of crafts, games, science experiments, trivia, mystery, and wonder. Instead of hearing ‘I’m bored’ you’ll hear the excited shout, ‘Let’s do that one next!'”
— Creative Kidstuff

UNBORED is the key for parents who want to get their kids away from flickering screens while still maintaining the posture of coolness… Written toward the young audience with a minimum of condescension and a maximum of ‘here’s a cool secret you don’t know,’ it should inspire a generation of creative geniuses, or at least briefly keep a few youngsters off the couch.”
— Zack Smith, Indy Week

“Dread dealing with kids cooped up on cold days? Look no further than UNBORED: The Essential Field Guide to Serious Fun, which has been on the indie-bookstore bestseller list and nabbed one of the world’s greatest honors as far as we’re concerned, a thumbs-up on New York magazine’s Approval Matrix. Authors Elizabeth Foy Larsen (of Minneapolis) and Joshua Glenn have compiled a truly appealing collection of fun activities — from science experiments and farting games to quizzes and comics — that kids will actually get into.”
— Minneapolis Star Tribune, “The Five Spot: Our fives faves of the moment”

“If I had to spend all summer with a group of kids and only one book, I know what I’d pick: Joshua Glenn and Elizabeth Foy Larsen’s Unbored: The Essential Field Guide to Serious Fun. This book is a marvel. It is full of activities, experiments, ideas to explore and plans to change the world. Want to know how to make a cigar box guitar, play a clapping game, recycle batteries, or conduct an interview? Want to know the secret history of young adult novels, the best-ever musical movies, or how to ‘train your grownup to curse without cursing?’ Those are only a few of the 46 activities in Chapter 1. And there are three more chapters!”
— from the blog CREATIVITEACH: Creativity for 21st Century Classrooms