Thursday, August 3, 2017


My kids love swimming in the lake when at the state park where we go every summer for family camping trips.  Yes lakes in Michigan may be filled with murky water but at least you don't have to worry about encountering a shark while swimming.  Well actually we did have a run in with some sharks in the lake during a recent outing courtesy of Melissa & Doug.  As part of a promotion with National Geographic to highlight a shark being the "cover animal" for the most recent National Geographic KiDS Almanac 2018, we were provided a Melissa & Doug Spark Shark Toss & Catch water toy set. 

Spark Shark Toss & Catch is a fun game played in the water where two people toss a ball back and forth trying to get it to land within the mouth of the shark they are holding in their hand.  It may sound easy but the game can actually be fairly challenging.  Our whole family got in on the action and had a great time playing the game.  When you need to take a rest a nice feature of the shark nets is they float in the water so you can just grab them again when ready to pick up the game.  This game is nice for helping kids with their gross motor skills and hand-eye coordination as they toss and catch the ball plus is nice for encouraging interpersonal skills as you are working with a partner instead of competing against an opponent when playing Spark Shark Toss & Catch.

When the kids weren't playing in the lake they spent some of their down time reading the new National Geographic KiDS Almanac which features one of the biggest creatures to live in the water on its cover...a great white shark.  While sharks may seem scary they really are an important part of a healthy underwater ecosystem.  Actually humans are more dangerous to shark than they are to us.  Millions of sharks are killed by people each year!  National Geographic KiDS Almanac 2018 has a special section devoted to "Save Our Sharks" in an effort to reverse that trend.  So while we were nowhere near where sharks may be they are all my twins wanted to talk about during this camping trip.

In addition to providing information about the oceans' sharks, National Geographic KiDS Almanac 2018 also is filled with impressive photos, fun facts, craft ideas, interesting activities and some incredible features on creatures, scientific topics and technology.  Enhancements to this year's almanac include three new chapters (Engineering / Space / Life Sciences), a guide about the city of New Orleans to celebrate its 300th birthday, an updated Fun and Games section filled with all-new activities, comics, crafts, jokes, games and weird-but-true acts, along with every chapter in the book highlighting "18 Facts for 2018."  Of course all the reference material throughout the book has been reviewed and updated as well.

The National Geographic KiDS Almanac 2018 has earned A Geek Daddy's nod of approval for being a book that is both educational and entertaining that will have children enjoying learning while they read it.  Recommended for children aged 8 to 12 between the second and seventh grade this is a resource parents can depend on to capture the interest and imagination of their kids. With the reputation of National Geographic behind it this publication is a trust-worthy resource that will keep kids attention whether they are looking for a distraction to pass the time during a long road trip or doing some after-school reading for homework or fun.

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