Reedsy Review

A book that is creative, effective and fun that develops Family Values to avoid outside unwelcome influences including from the Government. Activities that are focused on parents with children between the formative years of four through ten.

Interact on different levels with your children. Be in tune with the uniqueness of each child while supporting them to reach their greatest potential. Build a strong foundation that will help create Family Connections for Life. Four categories of over 100 activities that are Quick & Easy, Family Teamwork, Family Fun and Rewards. They help you to more effectively communicate with your children using what I term “Loving Discipline.” They are also timeless in their use and are easy to follow descriptions for each individual solution to problems or possible problems within the Family. Family Matters and so does how each activity are used to better prepare your children from negative influences.

You will ultimately help keep parents sane & involved without letting children to become uncontrollable in private or public. Lastly you be able to add much laughter and be able to use over and over again.

My kids are pretty happy-go-lucky, and I am often complimented on how well behaved they are, but like any children, they do have their moments and they know how to pick them. Rory Hill presented an idea that family values and appropriate behavior could be teased out creatively, and I was keen to discover what activities he had developed to help foster this approach. I Wasn’t Kidding, Now I Am is a book that takes some simple ideas and presents them as activities for some or all the family to engage in to promote interaction.


Broken down into four main sections, the book provides activities to cover, ‘Quick & EASY,’ ‘Family Teamwork,’ ‘Family Fun,’ and ‘Reward.’ There is a clear format to the book that outlines who will participate in the activity e.g., just the child, or the whole family, the age of the target audience, and when and why to use the activity. It highlights any materials/resources that will be needed which are all reasonable and minimal as well as providing additional tips that aren’t covered under other headings. Lastly, it gives a run-down on the results one might expect from the activity so you can compare your own experience or gain confidence in knowing that you are on the right track.


Activities are centered around making family life easy, fun, and calm. Okay, so there are some noisy exercises, but ultimately, the aim is to make children feel safe and comfortable. Some activities are designed to expel energy and induce tiredness, others are designed to form trust, reduce rivalry, and even openly show love in a discreet way. For example, one of the activities is a game where you tell a story using specific initials. Your child with those initials will associate the story with wanting a hug and provide this having had the tale. Another activity sees the parent encouraging children to take more control by saying ‘why not?’ to doing something new. It removes the negative ‘no’ and encourages children to step outside their comfort zone and try new things without feeling inhibited. It also normalizes things like jumping in puddles and making a mess, framing it as something educational and fun rather than something messy and destructive.


What I love most about this book is the love. A lot of the activities, regardless of what the aim is, involve telling or showing the child that they are loved by either the parents, or the whole family. There is emphasis on how much family matters, which is so important in a dysfunctional, modern world where families do not stay together as long as they used to. The activities in this book help bond family members for a lifetime, not just for childhood.


Interestingly, the book contained activities that we, as a family, use. It was affirming to see things we do publicized and to give consideration to the benefits that we take for granted because the activities come so naturally. No doubt, other families will be in a similar boat and spurred on to complete other tasks to enhance family life.


This book is suitable for any child carers that are young enough to still require regular supervision, be them parents, much older siblings, grandparents, and childminders. Some activities are less appropriate for people outside the family but that shouldn’t be a deterrent to using the book and you can always consider adding your own spin/variation to an exercise. It is a useful reference tool for if you find yourself in need of a new technique to extract certain positive behaviors. I, for one, will be returning to this book again and again for inspiration. 

Kirkus Review

Hill offers suggestions for a variety of fun and affectionate family activities in this guide.

Inspired by his personal experiences interacting with young children, including relatives and babysitting charges, the author offers descriptions of 105 activities parents and other caregivers (“Teammates”) can do with kids. Ranging from tickling and blowing kisses to multi-family picnics, the activities are intended to help instill kids with confidence and build family togetherness. An introductory section includes “How to BEST Use This Book” (choose whatever activity is appropriate at the moment rather than follow a predefined sequence) and lays out Hill’s aims in writing it. The activities are organized in four color-coded “Connecting Categories”: “Quick & Easy,” “Family Teamwork,” “Family Fun,” and “Reward.” For each activity, the author lists the appropriate ages, benefits, materials needed, tips (such as “Ask a lot of questions” and “Guide them but let them choose”), and design (the actual how-to directions). For many tips, he also provides the concept’s origin. The activities themselves include standards such as “All Shook Up,” a variation on the Hokey-Pokey, alongside original ideas such as “My Parents,” an exercise in which kids spend a day taking pictures of their parents as they go about their daily routines. Later in the book, Hill invites readers to share their suggestions for a planned second volume. Twenty uncredited, bright, cheery illustrations of diverse families enhance the text. The author’s style is chatty, breezy, and upbeat; Hill takes the liberty of using some creative spelling, capitalization, and punctuation, and he uses ampersands throughout the text instead of spelling out the word and because he “just wanted to.” The longer, more complicated activity descriptions would be easier to follow if their subsections were better set off from the main sections. While both one- and two-parent households are referenced, “Mom” is assumed to be the primary parent, and gender roles are described in conventional terms.

Quirky ideas for family fun, delivered informally