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4 stocking filler books that help kids embrace mistakes, creativity and resist 'perfectionism'

In the penultimate week before Christmas, when many of us are looking for last minute stocking fillers, we thought we would share four books that not only will your children love, but which will also encourage their creativity and discourage perfectionism. Obsessive perfectionism can be a significant contributor to stress and anxiety in grown ups and children, and, in pursuit of being perfect, some children can often stop 'trying' for fear of failure.

As parents, those moments when a beautiful picture is scrunched up, amidst a flood of tears all because a (tiny) 'mistake' was made, are very hard to navigate. These books are written to help your children deal with that urge and to discourage the sense some children have, that something has to be 'perfect'. By supporting them when they make mistakes, we really can help our children to recognise their own power to be truly creative!

1. Beautiful Oops

By Barney Saltzberg

Age suitability: Babies to grown ups

This award-winning book is all about celebrating the beauty in mistakes and using an 'oops' to find something maybe even more wonderful than you were originally aiming for! Whether there is a tear in the paper, or a little smudge, or a big spill - there's something even more amazing just a small leap of the imagination away!

Stay local and order from bookshop.org

2. The girl who never made mistakes

by Mark Pett and Gary Rubinstein

Age suitability: 4-8 years

This is the story about a little girl called Beatrice who has never made a mistake. Not ever! In fact, she is so good at avoiding mistakes that the town where she lives actually calls her 'The Girl Who Never Makes Mistakes!' One day, however, she finally does make a mistake, and it's in front of everyone! Read how through making it, she realizes that life is far more fun when you enjoy everything, even the mistakes you make.

Stay local and order from bookshop.org

3. What to do when mistakes make you quake: A Kid's Guide to Accepting Imperfection

by Clare A.B.Freeland and Jaqueline B. Toner

Age suitability: 6 +

A practical guide book to embracing your mistakes. Imagine if explorers had never made mistakes - and had not then discovered the amazing places they found quite by accident? A book that teaches children that there is no such thing as a 'wrong turn'.

Stay local and order from bookshop.org

4. Mistakes that worked: 40 Familiar Inventions &

How They Came to Be

By Charlotte Jones

Age suitability: 8 +

Piggy banks, silly putty, potato chips and frisbees are all things that were invented by mistake. This book has previously been recommended for children with Asperger's syndrome, who often suffer anxiety over day to day tasks because of their strive for perfectionism. Kids will enjoy the humour and the fascinating facts behind some of the most famous 'inventions' of our age.

Stay local and order from bookshop.org

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