Monday, November 21, 2016

Nonfiction Monday: I can make that! Fantastic crafts for kids! by Mary Wallace

When I first flipped through this, I thought "eh, another craft book that could be easily replaced by Pinterest." But a closer look proved me wrong (and inspired me to keep this until it's....extremely overdue...whilst mulling over it).

The book is divided into Costumes, Puppets, Nature Crafts, Toys and Games. There is a simple "Getting Started" section that has a list of ideas for decoration - paint, markers, tape, etc. At the end there are several pages of patterns and an index for materials.

The projects are very simple with bright colors, helpful lists of supplies, reminders about safety and asking first, and clear directions. What sets this apart from other craft books is that everything is geared towards kids being able to do the projects themselves with minimal to no help and the organization of the book. If you or your kids have ever been frustrated by complicated directions, scrolling through a gazillion ideas on Pinterest without finding the right one, or projects that lay out every step without leaving room for children's own imagination and creativity, this is the perfect solution.

It includes instructions on making a puppet theater and getting started making your own puppets, but the puppets shown are clearly hand-made and won't discourage kids from branching out into their own creations. Furniture made out of sponges and people out of twist ties, a dollhouse out of cardboard - sophisticated kids used to a more consumerist culture may turn up their noses at these projects, but leave a few basic supplies and the instruction book lying around and direct them to it when they get bored. Making will result!

Verdict: A great selection for inspiring kids to make their own creations and develop basic making skills like using scissors, following a pattern, and waiting for glue to dry. Highly recommended if these are areas of concentration for your library programs.

ISBN: 9781926973975; Published 2014 by Owlkids; Purchased for the library

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