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.
- 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?