MAIN STREET ¬ó When traveling, school teacher Kristy Pace plays with other families¬í kids at airports. Her first book, ¬ì101 Things to do With Your Kids at the Airport,¬î provides games to successfully occupy children without Pace.
Although the title implies that the illustrated book is meant for the airport, and that it is for children, the games aren¬ít specific to places or age.
¬ìYou don¬ít have to be in an airport,¬î Pace said. ¬ìPut those eight things [listed in the book] in your bag and you can play the whole book wherever.¬î
The four types of activities listed in the book ¬ó ¬ìAlone Time,¬î ¬ìSharing Stories,¬î ¬ìActive Moments¬î and ¬ìGroup Games¬î ¬ó provide entertainment for wherever the reader is stuck for awhile, according to the book¬ís summary.
Games listed in the book¬ís index include ¬ìAirport Adventures: Tastes Like …,¬î scavenger hunts, and ¬ìThe Bean¬ís in the Bag¬î beanbag challenge.
¬ìIf you have this bag full of games it makes it so easy,¬î Pace said.
Pace said her creativity and love for game-play was established early on; growing up on 92 acres of woods in Winchendon, Mass. ¬ó which she referred to as the middle of nowhere ¬ó Pace¬ís mother told her to make up games with the neighborhood kids.
¬ìThat¬ís just what we did every day ¬ó we made up games,¬î Pace said.
Local teachers and sisters co-writer Karin Herrador and illustrator Ingrid Herrador ¬ó who met Pace when all three worked at the Santa Monica Alternative School House ¬ó had an entirely different childhood than Pace, but it resulted in the same skill sets.
¬ìWe grew up during a war in El Salvador,¬î Karin Herrador said. ¬ìThe electricity would go out and there would be people bombing outside.¬î
Karin Herrador said she and her family would often have to stay in their hallway ¬ó which had no windows and thick walls ¬ó so no one would see them.
The sisters had no choice but to be creative. They made sock puppets and told each other stories, said Ingrid Herrador.
¬ìThe book was mostly Kristy¬ís brainchild, but we all realized we had something to contribute,¬î Karin Herrador said when asked why the three worked on the book together.
The games not only alleviate boredom, but they also promote imagination, creativity and self-esteem, Pace said.
¬ìWe really believe that it¬ís not just games,¬î Pace said.
¬ìIt¬ís learning about the world around you and learning your capabilities,¬î Karin Herrador added.
Karin Herrador also advises parents to turn off the television ¬ó and other electronics ¬ó and play the games in the book with children.
Kids react positively to when parents are involved in the games and are trying to be creative, Pace said.
If a parent does not have time to spend playing the games with their children the book can still be a source of entertainment without the help of an adult, Pace said.
¬ì[My family] hands [the book] to the oldest kid and has them occupy themselves,¬î Pace said. ¬ìA lot of it is writing in the book and things they can do on their own.¬î
Although Pace said the book is primarily for children ages 2 – 11, the games can be fun for everyone.
¬ìBy the time you¬íre 12 you might think you¬íre too cool for it,¬î Pace said. ¬ìBut, if they¬íre bored enough, grown-ups love the games, too.¬î
Pace recalled a road trip where she and her friends played the games for hours; Ingrid Herrador said she played the games with adult friends.
¬ìI think it¬ís entertaining for everyone when there is nothing else to do but stare at people,¬î Pace said.
The book is available online at www.Etsy.com, and Karin Herrador hopes to come out with a Spanish translation of the book soon.
¬ìLet [the book] bring you back to your little family world,¬î Pace said.