I believe that children are our future, teach them well and let them craft away….
A while ago I was sent two great books of kids crafts to review. I’m a bit delayed in posting about them, especially since one of them is titled “Vacation Crafts,” and says it’s for summer. The thing is though I did that intentionally. I don’t believe crafts should just being during the summer. I think they should be every day, especially as a homeschooler. So I wanted to feature these books after everyone was kind of over summer break and while homeschoolers are planning and prepping for next year. Everyone tends to start summer break with a bang and then fizzle out pretty quickly. Where I live school doesn’t start until after Labor Day, so we still have a lot more time to fill. Even though we homeschool we follow the school calendar, mostly because there are 16 kids on my street and we’re the only homeschoolers. Can you imagine how that would work out if we schooled year round?
I also believe that “kids crafts” are perfect for adults too! Sometimes following a simple pattern can help you try a new material, break out of a craft funk, or even just take advantage of some down time where you don’t feel like taking on a bigger project. Sometimes it’s nice to ignore a more complicated project and just work on something simple.
Vacation Crafting for Kids
This book has a lot of variety, everything from craft foam to beads to friendship bracelets to seashells. Almost certain to have something that you crafty kid wants to make right away. My crafty kid suddenly decided he wasn’t crafty after the book arrived, so I took matters into my own hands and had some fun with the perler bead patterns.
I just LOVE perler beads, always have. I don’t remember ever having my own set as a kid, but I remember playing with them at friends house anytime I had the chance! Now I grab them anytime I see them cheap at yard sales, book sales, free sales, etc. and we have a big tube full. Of course the patterns worked out great!
One thing I do notice about Vacation Crafting is that the projects that use craft foam don’t say anywhere to enlarge the pattern, but I know you need to enlarge the pattern. One way I know is that there is no way the finger puppets are fitting anyone the size they show. The other way I know is that some of the crafts of repeated in Foam Crafts and the patterns in there are noticeably larger. SO if you love craft foam be prepared to up-size some patterns, or buy the foam book also!
I recommend it, and it would be a great gift too, just it and a bunch of craft supplies in a cool bin or box! It would make a crafty kids heart go aflutter.
Foam Crafts For Kids
I am going to say it, I LOVE craft foam. I remember as an older child and young teen it was really hitting the scene and I led lots of crafts in various church and youth groups with “Fun Foam.” So much so that one of the leaders gave me a stack of foam for Christmas. The ease of use, vivid colors, fun craft patterns, and waterproof nature make it SO fun to use. I remember one craft of making straw decorations for a paper. You just cut little slits to put the straw through and then have a fancy straw.
That said, I DID make some of the crafts in this book, but I was off that day. You know those days where things just aren’t going right? I was having one of those. Instead of being in a crafty mood I was trying to take advantage of the fact that my table was covered in craft supplies. I won’t embarrass myself by showing my projects. What I did was use the pencil topper patterns, and several patterns of similar size and made a stack of pencil toppers. Some came out pretty cute, I mean the kids like them, but I am my own worst critic. I can say the books directions are clear. I loved that the patterns are full sized. The crafts came in a variety of styles, from cut and glue to a fairly advanced portfolio case! The portfolio is shown on the cover, and I still want to make one.
I found out after getting the book that at some point I had given away all our foam! I had my crafty niece coming and wanted to have the supplies to try to make stuff with her and didn’t want to but colors individually so I grabbed a pack of foam at Walmart. For $5 I got a stack of half-sized sheets in quite a range of colors. (Like this pack) I recommend the pack in general, BUT it wasn’t big enough sheets for the portfolio. I am hoping to buy specific colors and make the portfolio as a back to school craft with my son the first week we start up again. (If you’re curious my niece has come and gone, she loved the craft books but we didn’t get a chance to make anything.)
Another craft I loved in this book was the road mat and cars! That’s right, foam cars! Super cute!
Know I’d love to know, which of these books are you more excited about!?!? Also, if you had to pick between perler beads for fun foam, which would you pick?? They’re both so fun right?!!?!?