Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Timberdoodle Review: A Kid's Guide to Drawing the Presidents of the USA

Looking for a creative, hands-on approach to teaching the United States presidents and American history for kids ages 8-12? Check out A Kid's Guide to Drawing the Presidents of the USA!

My oldest son (12) is TOTALLY into American history, but he's not that interested in drawing, and my daughter (9) LOVES to draw in her free time, but she's not into history. So, when Timberdoodle sent me How to Draw the Life and Times of  Grover Cleveland to review, I thought it would encourage BOTH of them to learn something they don't usually enjoy! And even my "history buff" didn't know a lot about President Cleveland!

At a Glance
  • a hard-cover book with 32 pages
  • 13 short chapters and 10 step-by-step drawing lessons
  • timeline and glossary
  • drawing supply list: paper, pencil with eraser and ruler

I read aloud the 13 chapters detailing Cleveland's life before, during and after becoming our 22nd and 24th president. We had a blast testing each other on facts by creating verbal trivia questions from the text and using both the timeline and glossary in the back of the book! The timeline and glossary are VERY handy!

The kids worked on the drawing lessons as we read through the book. These lessons include visual AND reading instructions in step-by-step boxes as well as a photo or poster of the lesson subject. These lessons were challenging for J and C!
J and C Working on their Statue of Liberty Drawing Lesson...and Yes, They're in PJs! LOL
Grover Cleveland's Childhood House by J
We found the information in the book was easy to read, understand and interesting. (Did you know that the Baby Ruth candy bar is named after Cleveland's daughter?) The glossary and timeline provided a great source for review through discussion and verbal games. The drawing lessons were challenging and a little frustrating for J and C who haven't had any instruction in shading and perspective. Each book takes about a week to finish, perhaps two, and would be awesome combined with other American History programs or additional historical books and videos of the time to "round out" the events and people.  If you have a reluctant history student, but who has had basic drawing instruction and enjoys being creative, this is the series for you! (You can find additional history curricula at Timberdoodle's website.)

Final Rating (out of 5 ★s) : ★ ★ ★

Check out all the wonderful curricula, puzzles, games, and kits by requesting a Timberdoodle catalog or joining up on Facebook! 

Disclosure: As a member of Timberdoodle Blogger Review Team, I receive free products in exchange for a frank and unbiased review on Our Side of the Mountain. These reviews are my own personal thoughts and opinions as well as my childrens'. For more product information and current prices, please visit the Timberdoodle website.


  1. Sounds interesting. I don't know that they are particularly skilled, but my boys do love to draw. This might be worth looking at for them.

    My boys do school in pjs all the time! As a matter of fact, they prefer to live in their pjs if we are not going out.

    Thanks for the review.

    This comment may post 10 times- for some reason blogger keeps bumping me when I hit "Post Comment". Ugh. I am going to try "Anonymous" and see if that works- Lori @ Keeping it Simple

  2. i'm visiting from the HHH...i like how you posted what curriculum your 7th grader used - we are starting 6th and 7th grades next year! have a fun summer!

  3. Sounds like fun!! I love Timberdoodle!! Great Review!

  4. I was able to get one of the books from the series from our library to see it for myself. I think this series will work well for my boys. Thanks again.

  5. Just thought I'd let you know that I ordered the set from timberdoodle. It is a big investment for us ( I don't usually have to purchase too much anymore), but I think it will be a nice fit with our studies.

  6. Awesome, Lori! I think you and your boys will enjoy it! It's easy to read with interesting facts and short chapters...and creating a book of drawings to go with the information will be lots of fun! Let me know how it all works out for you!

    Thanks, Kayla! It was fun!


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