Pros:350 free and up-to-a dollar things kids can send away for by mail.
Cons:This book is an older edition, however newer editions are also available.
The Bottom Line: There are more recent editions of the same book, so if you are interested in looking at the offers, a newer version would be a better choice.
I took my boys with me on a visit to our local library this week. Among the books they decided to check out was Free Stuff for Kids. The paperback book boasts of containing over 350 free and up-to-a dollar things kids can send away for by mail.
Recommend this product?
The book contains lots of free offers for children, which were compiled by The Free Stuff Editors. The price of this book was $4.95, but since more recent versions of this book have been released, you could probably pick it up for a lot less.
Once we got the book home, I decided to take a closer look before the boys sent out for any of the offers in the book. Unfortunately, this particular book is the 1991 edition, so many of the offers are probably no longer valid. There are some however, which are still available.
The premise of the book is that since all kids love to get mail, they can send for many free or low cost items, which will be sent to them through the mail. The book contains offers for many different types of free and low cost merchandise.
Free Stuff for Kids is designed to be used independently by children. The offers are all approved by The Free Stuff Editors as safe, fun and informative things that children can send away for. Any child who can read and write could use this book, as well as the later editions of this book, and have fun doing it.
Though the book does have some offers that only require your child to send a postcard with their request, many of the offers require more. There are some which require a Self Addressed Stamped Envelope (SASE), or a small amount of money, usually under a dollar though a few special items are $2-$3.
Inside The Book
Inside the book you will find the table of contents, and introductory section, and several different categories of offers to send away for. The introduction explains how to send away for your items. It explains what a SASE is, how to make your requests, and any other pertinent information. It also explains the importance of following directions, and reading carefully to ensure that your children get what they request. It is then divided into sections or categories. I have included a couple of examples from each section.
Hey Sport! Pages 9-20 contain offers for pro teams, Olympic sports, sports and recreation.
Fan Mail Package from your choice of 26 different pro football teams. Most include a team sticker, a team photo card with team facts on the back, an NFL schedule, a map showing the location of all of the teams, plus information about the NFL Superpro Club and the Football Hall of fame.
Swim Safe Carrier is a plastic cylinder to keep your valuables dry at the beach or in a boat or pool.
You Can Do It Pages 23-32 have free and low cost offers for crafts, activities, and music.
Kids' Fin Pak is an activity book including puzzles, facts, cartoons, recipes, mazes, games, and craft and activity ideas.
Mini Photo Album. You get two small photo albums with spaces for 12 snapshots each.
Stickers, Stamps and Stuff
Save the Humans Bumper Sticker
Beginning Stamp Collector's Packet
Reading and Writing
Yellow Jack Cassette contains two stories you can listen to.
Pet Care Bookmarks
Healthy and Wise
Safety First Pamphlets are three pamphlets concerning good care of your bike, riding safely, and general safety habits.
Kinderprint Kit I.I Record has a place for your child's photo, description and fingerprint.
Living With Animals Storybook
Animal First Aid Guide
World of Wonders
Special Kids' Salad Garden Seeds
Solar Hot Dog Cooker Directions, are instructions on how to build a solar-powered hot dog cooker.
A World We Make
Authentic Civil War Bullet
How You Can Make Paper Brochure
Going My Way?
Travel Games is a 31-page booklet filled with games you can play on the road.
There are also lots of tourism booklets included in this section.
The index categorizes the offers in different terms than what the contents do. Here you will find listings like Activity Books, Animals, Autographs, Balloons, etc. rather than having the items grouped by subject area such as history, music or people.
The book is rather well laid out. Your child can use either the contents or the index to provide the easiest way to find any specific item they may be looking for. The individual pages are set up efficiently as well. Each item has:
Title of the offer
Description of the item
Directions - Do you need to send a postcard, SASE, or money?
What to ask for - This is the name of the item you should request
Where to write to get these offer
Some of the items also have illustrations. Some are black and white photos, and some are simple line drawings. Some of the pictures are of the actual merchandise, while many are simple representations.
Free Stuff For Kids: 1991 Edition
By The Free Stuff Editors
Paperback: 111 pages
Publisher: Meadowbrook; (September 1990)
The The Free Stuff Editors have collected hundreds of offers and compiled them in this book. Each supplier listed promised to honor requests for the items listed throughout the year the book was written. Unfortunately that year has long since passed, so only a fraction of the offers are still valid. The good news is that there are more recent editions of the same book, so if you are interested in looking at the offers, a newer version would be a better choice.
All in all, I thought this book was a nice learning tool for younger children who can read and write. It can help to teach them to read carefully and follow directions. This could be the motivation they need to get them reading and writing, because they will be looking forward to reap the rewards from their efforts. Since this book is outdated, I will not recommend it to you though. Instead, I recommend that you pick up a more recent version of the same book.