Robert Paul Smith
How to Do Nothing with Nobody All Alone by Yourself: A Timeless Activity Guide to Self-Reliant Play and Joyful Solitude
This classic guidebook, with over 100 fully illustrated activities, details everything from paper airplanes to spool tanks to slingshots―teaching children to not only entertain themselves for a minute or two, but a lifetime.
Promoting free-range imagination, hands-on ingenuity, and independent play, Robert Smith’s timeless activity guide reminds parents and children alike that making one’s own fun is the best way to avoid boredom. With easy-to-follow, illustrated directions to hacking household objects into toys and using nature to invent mischievous contraptions, this is a handbook that inspires creative play. From indoor boomerangs, pin pianos, umbrella bow and arrows, peach pit turtles, and clamshell bracelets to quirky, prank-ready contraptions, the wide array of engaging activities provides a great alternative to screen time, fostering independent thinking and joyful curiosity, and a greater appreciation for the simple things in life—both indoor and outdoor. Charming, inspiring, and loads of fun, this spirited book will provide endless enjoyment for children and parents alike.
Robert Paul Smith
“Every great book reminds us that we’re all alone in the world. At least this one provides us with the means to entertain ourselves while we’re here.”
“A celebration of makers and hackers from half a century before they were called makers and hackers. How to Do Nothing with Nobody All Alone by Yourself is a treat in its totality.”
—Maria Popova, Brain Pickings
“It’s what you’d get if you crossed the Boy Scout Handbook with The Anarchist’s Cookbook, and it’s definitely the wildest how-to manual I’ve seen this year.”
—Greg Cowles, The New York Times Paper Cuts
“Had I known about it, Robert Paul Smith’s 1958 book, How to Do Nothing with Nobody All Alone by Yourself, would have been my Bible. Smith gets down to the nitty-gritty on the first page: ‘These are things you can do by yourself,’ he writes. ‘You don’t need any help from your mother or your father or anybody.'”
—the Star Tribune
“This classic 1958 guide reintroduces kids to those natural urges that have to turn random objects into crazy great stuff…Readers will love that everything in this book was invented by kids and passed along by kids, that nothing costs money and that each of the projects is a seat-of-the-pants creation.”
—Where the Best Books Are!
“What a joy to give children something they can do without ‘hollering for help’…How to Do Nothing with Nobody All Alone by Yourself is replete with the sort of fun that childhood should be, and too rarely is.”