Reported by Donna Lannerd
Summer is just about over and school will begin soon (too soon for my daughter, not soon enough for her parents) but until the end comes there will be days where according to most kids “there isn’t anything to do.” I’ve found an inexpensive, all-inclusive kit that parents and caretakers can have on hand to put a stop to the end of vacation boredom. These Creativity for Kids Kits from Faber-Castell are small in size but come in several different kinds – I counted 23 on their website – and there are some for boys as well as girls.
These particular kits are small on investment but big on return. A few of the kits only have one item but many of them have supplies to make several such as the 2 shown in the photo: 10 Opti-Art Rings and 12 Clip-on Cuties. With being able to make multiple projects you can use it for a group or kids can make gifts for their friends. Price for each kit is only $5.99. There are larger kits that cost more but I really like these smaller ones.
I didn’t have much trouble with getting my daughter to make the Opti-Art Rings. In fact, she wouldn’t stop asking about when we were finally going to make them. Her favorite part about this kit was painting on the designs. I made the palm tree ring below by using a mini-punch, gluing the tree on paper, using the stone to draw around the design and cutting it out before gluing the design on. Directions for this is in the kit though it suggest using a photo. This persuaded my daughter to do the same with a seahorse punch. The ring on the pinky finger is simply a piece of ribbon that we used the stone as a template and glued it on. You may also notice the faux mood ring we made together by swirling paint. When your stones have dried it is then glued to the metal ring. That’s it!
The second kit, Clip-on Cuties, ended up being harder to convince my daughter to make. I don’t think the front of the box does them justice because once I made one she was much more enthused. My favorite thing about this particular kit is that they use “pipe cleaners” not chenille stems. How many kits/pattern books have I seen that avoids the term pipe cleaners like the plague? This kit’s directions were actually harder to follow because it has you bend the pipe cleaner into a certain form and then trim the excess off which becomes the arms. The photo below shows the point at which seemed not to make that much sense to me or my daughter.
But after getting past this point the Cutie is much easier to assemble. Now, the suggested age for this kit is 6 to 96 (yes the kits actually say 96) but my 7 year old had trouble understanding the above formation and then as she added beads she just wanted to keep adding them without leaving room to bend the pipe cleaner so the beads wouldn’t fall off. But the 7 year old was much more creative than me and didn’t want to put the beads on exactly like the photos. She used some of the large beads for the legs as well as wanting more pipe cleaner to show. I think hers (the purple one) looks much livelier. Anyway, we finished them both and are sharing them here with you.
- Inexpensive $5.99
- ALL supplies are in each box.
- Supplies are easy to put back in the box. Inside tray holds supplies for easy in and out. Boxes stack nice for easy storing.
- Quick projects.
Company has an excellent web site where you can find the instructions for the projects in case you lose yours.
- A plus: the kits I had each came with a duck. (I don’t know why.) See photo at the end of the article.
- Paintbrush in the rings was not adequate. I had to get out some of my brushes that had a finer tip to get the detail needed.
- Not in all major craft stores.
- None for the 3-4 age although they do have larger kits for this age range but the cost is significantly more.
I found the kits at Joann’s which have them online as well. Amazon has a few in this kit type but carries others by this company. You can also purchase them directly from the Creativity for Kids website which I recommend doing a product search and use the price range criteria for finding this kit type.
I would give these small kits a 9 out of 10 rating for value and for fun especially since with the surprise of the little ducks. Let us know about your favorite kids’ kits or any feedback if you purchased these particular kits before.