Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Crafting with Kids }{ book review

There are numerous books on crafting out there, many of which involve crafting with kids. There are even more websites and blogs devoted to the same purpose.

So how do you know where to start?

Which book is worth taking out of the library and which book do you want to have on your shelves to go back time and time again?

And what supplies do you need to make projects? Is there a basic tool kit or an essential materials list that you have to have on hand?

One of my goals for the reviews I'll be doing every Wednesday on the blog is to give you information on some of the books, sites, and tools that I've used or come across over time. Hopefully you can use this information to make your choices in crafting with (or without) children.

Ok, enough introduction, let's get to it.

Jennifer Casa is an experienced designer and crafter who clearly knows how to work with her children. She also has a rock band - that alone makes her awesome in my book. But back to crafting.... She just came out with this book that has 75 different crafts for you to try with kids - seasonal, for parties, recycled, you name it, the book probably has it. Here are some of the features I liked and one that I think could be changed.

  • Lots and lots of pictures along with easy to follow instructions. If you don't believe you're very crafty but would like to try some projects with your kids, this book includes step by step written instructions and visuals for most of them. 
  • Great section on setting up for crafting. Many of the crafting books I have come with an introduction on what materials to get, how to set up your area, and even what to expect when crafting with children. What I really like about this one is that the materials are divided into things that you can find around the house, recyclables, and then a list of things you may need to buy or put on your "wish list." That means you don't have to go running to the arts and crafts supply stores to stock on things you may already have in a different shape or form. Bonus!
  • The projects are imaginative. One of my favorite things about crafting with kids comes from letting them run wild with their creativity. The projects in this book not only allow for that in creating them (easily customizable), but many of them can inspire creative play after the fact as well, like the felt story board project. Love it!
  • It gives you an estimated amount of time the project takes. Out of the books I have used, this is the only one that gives you this information. It is incredibly useful for busy moms like me to see how long something takes and whether we'll have time for it today, tomorrow, or maybe we need to do it installments. This has got to be one of the best parts about this book for me. 
So what don't I like about this book? It's tough to say because overall I really liked it, but there's one thing worth mentioning.

  • Age appropriateness and amount of adult help. The projects are appropriate for kids of different ages, some easy enough for the little one in my house, but many require quite a bit of help. Since I like to do my activities with N. whenever possible and she doesn't like to wait for some of the adult-only steps, she got bored with some of the activities. Actually, quite a few of the projects will only work for us if I do them when she's not around and give them to her as a toy later. So, at least in our household with a young toddler, this is more of a "crafting for kids" then a "crafting with kids" book.... for now. As she gets older, I'm sure that's going to change.

Overall: great book for mamas who are beginning to craft with their kids and need step by step instructions. This is something that I want in my library as N. gets older, and we'll probably do most of the projects eventually. 

What kinds of reviews would you be interested in reading next week? Crafting books, products, or something else?


  1. Great review - I like to read things like this even though I will not buy this book since it´s in english (takes time to translate to my boys). Still, I do love crafting with kids books! :-)

    You know what weird thing I´d love to follow you on? A visit to the food store - with pics! I´m always fascinated with the items in food stores in other countries, how strange that may sound. The different aisles, the food coloring stuff used for baking, the utensils - you name it! If you ever get the chance - could you share? :-D

  2. Great review! I'm with you and prefer crafts that Makayla can do with little help from me. She wants to do everything on her own anyway! "No, mommy, I do it!"

    I'm so excited about this feature on your blog!
    I'm the mom saying, "where do I start?" There's a lot of information out there and it overwhelms me.
    You, my friend, are my one stop crafting stop! You recommend it and I will do it -whether it's reading a book, a blog or whatever! My craftiness is in your hands :) No pressure ;)

    Is there a basic tool kit or an essential materials list that you have to have on hand?
    I want to put together a list from the emails you've sent. I love lists! I want to have one ready to go so when I go to the craft store I don't wander around aimlessly picking out things that look cool, but I have no idea what to do with. I could spend a day in a craft store and come out with only half of what I need to complete a project.

  3. Olá querida!!!
    Tu explicaste bem direitinho, eu que não entendo, por isso. amada estou com gripe danado, não fiz nada hoje, tomei vacina,caiu a temperatura muito rápido.Tomara que melhore logo tenho tanta coisas para fazer, amiga hoje não li seu post mas amanhã se estiver melhor prometo ler gosto muito do que escreve.
    Bjos Carinhosos!

  4. What a wonderful review! I love crafting books!

  5. I've looked at this book and I'm glad to hear you great review. I'll look forward to seeing other gems you have in store for us!
    My Blog