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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 19 April 2017
so far I have dipped in and out of the book and found some interesting and useful help. I'm sure it could be a good for parents as well as school staff. I would recommend it as it's a good all rounder for anyone working with children and parents.
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on 22 September 2013
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on 28 November 2009
I'm delighted to have found this fantastic book. It's absolutely packed with activities that parents can do with their kids to develop their thinking skills (and that teachers could do with their students if they had the time!). The book is very easy to read, but there are useful ideas on every page. One of the big advantages is that the majority of the activities take little or no preparation and require no equipment (or possibly just a pencil and a piece of paper). This is great because most of the activities can be introduced 'on the spur of the moment' so the kids have fun and don't realize you're actually teaching them to develop important skills. I also loved the fact that you didn't need to read the book from cover to cover to find real gems for your own particular child. From the outset you're given suggestions of activities to try for particular kinds of kids (e.g. those who are hesitant and unsure about making decisions, or those who have heaps of energy but find it hard to concentrate). Although the games, questions and activities are all great fun to do, they actually encourage children to think at a very deep level. For example, my daughter is now quite capable of understanding and explaining why some short arguments contain fallacies. I teach this to gifted students studying A level Critical Thinking, but it hadn't crossed my mind that she would be able to grab the basics at the tender age of 9 and actually enjoy it!. I think the main thing I'd stress about this book is that it helps you in a very easy, non-stressful sort of way, to bring out the best in your child. It's not just for children who everyone thinks are really bright - it shows simple ways in which any child (whatever their IQ) can be encouraged and stimulated to reach their potential, and have fun on the way!
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on 17 November 2009
This is a super book, managing to distil our best understandings in the field of learning into accessible, very readable and easily implementable form. Because it's so steeped in good-quality research, yet wears this provenance lightly, it manages to avoid many of the pitfalls that might otherwise have beset it - no sweeping and misplaced generalisations, easy assumptions or join-the-dot-type presecriptions - just damn good advice and ideas. And as with the world-renowned work of Prof Carol Dweck, to which this book owes a good deal, not all of these ideas and suggestions are "common sense" - not by a long shot - some of the best advice for parents (and teachers) is counter-intuitive! Well worth reading!
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on 3 September 2010
I almost a collector of child-improvement type books but this is so good that I am moved by it to write my first ever review. It is full of brilliant suggestions, very easy to carry off, which always get the thumbs up when I propose them to the children - only screen time gets similar enthusiasm. It is a really excellent book and every thinking parent should have a copy.

Jane Andrews
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on 23 November 2009
This important book addresses a serious issue - that our education system is failing to meet the needs of many of our children. If today's children are to thrive in tomorrow's world, they will need to develop personal qualities and skills that currently get very little attention in most schools.
The good news is that a solution is at hand. "The Bright Stuff" provides parents (and educationalists) with an invaluable tool for helping children of all ages to discover the "secrets of success" - qualities such as persistence and creativity, and skills such as problem solving and the ability to learn from mistakes.
The best news of all is that "The Bright Stuff" will provide fun for all the family. If no one had told you that its numerous games and activities are underpinned by a serious intention, you might have thought their purpose was purely to entertain.
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on 27 November 2009
This book is great. It's not filled with academic jargon like some parenting books nor is it preachy or judgemental like others. The author clearly sets out what she's trying to do and presents it in a very accessible and readable way.

The main idea behind the book is that while school is generally about the acquisition of facts and knowledge, children also need to be able to think independently and creatively to enjoy a successful life. The author explains all this and then explains a series of games you can play with your child, designed to help them develop these skills and learn good thinking habits.

The games are wonderful, I have tried some on my 6 year old and we have both had a great time playing them - she doesn't even realise she's exercising her brain, she thinks we're just having fun together, which of course we are. Not all the games are suitable for her at the moment, as the book is aimed at children from 4 to 16, but that just means that we should get good value out of it over the years!

What I thought was particularly good about the games was that they were actually do-able, other books I've seen have what look like good suggestions but turn out to be impossible to put into practice. These ones actually work, how wonderful.
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on 6 December 2009
The Bright Stuff is full of creative and fun mind-developing ideas that take only moments to prepare and are easy to present. I have already introduced some of Janes' activities to a group of children and their response was nothing short of engaging, with much laughter and imagination filling the room. The book is written in a straightforward manner, and caters for all levels of thinkers. Parents will love the ideas they can share with their child/ren. In today's world, it's not so much a case of what you know or who you know that gets you ahead, but rather, how you use your knowledge and work with others. This book will help give children the learning experiences they need to become such a person.
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on 23 May 2011
As a head teacher of 3-7 year old children, I highly recommend this book to parents and teachers. Parents at my school constantly ask me how to support their children's learning at home and this book provides a mine of useful ideas for parents to try at home and also for teachers to use at school. It is well-written with practical suggestions for games and activities that anyone can try, organised into chapters such as 'How to grow a vivid imagination' and 'How to learn from failure as well as success'. Feedback from parents who have bought this book is always very positive and they appreciate how easy it has been to fit some of the ideas into their busy lifestyles.
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on 16 November 2009
I read this book and it completely changed how I speak to my daughter. Such an eye opener! It's like a secret tool on how to involve your child more in everyday life when you're out and about or just doing normal things at home. Loads of fun ways of getting your child to think, and often just based on noticing things around you more and asking for their views. I tried a couple of tips on my daughter and she seemed quite surprised at my questions at first but so pleased as well to be involved like an adult. I ask her "why?" more than she does now!
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