Reported by Cassandra Darwin
I’m happy to report that I saw a number of new and innovative craft products and kits at the CHA Winter 2013 show, geared specifically for the younger crowd. The last time I went to CHA I was not a mom, so it was interesting seeing the new product offerings at the show this time from a different perspective. I am always on the lookout for something fun to do with my toddler, and have a number of these items on my wish list now.
Do-A-Dot Art offers markers in the form of a dauber that look so easy and fun for kids to use. I have seen these before at my local teacher’s store but was happy to learn more about them. They have ink in them, not paint, so they will not get clogged up or dried out like a paint dabber. They also have a felt tip applicator with a valve that does not allow the ink to flow unless the kids are pressing down, so the mess is kept to a minimum if the young artist gets a little wild. I especially loved the glitter set and the coordinating coloring books.
The same company also offers a kit called Glam Art that is geared for a slightly older age group (ages 5+). It comes with three pre-printed images that already have adhesive on them that can be covered with colored sequins. Kids peel away one section at a time to reveal the adhesive and use the included applicator to get the sequins perfectly positioned.
The end result is a sparkly masterpiece. I would guess that it might take a few sessions to complete each of the pictures, depending on how patient and focused your kid is, so it would be a great activity for rainy days or school vacations.
Another innovative product was a device that combines your iPad with Perler Beads. The iPegboard from EK Success comes with a tray that fits over your iPad screen to create designs with Perler beads. First you download the free iPad app, and then you can use the 50 free designs, buy additional designs, or customize designs before placing the tray over the screen to get started.
Once you are done placing the Perler beads, you remove the tray from the base and iPad, then fuse everything together with an iron. The i-Pegboard retails for less than $10, and opens up a whole host of possibilities for customizing your own designs.
Something that I had seen online and really wanted to check out in person was the Amy Tangerine Travel Kit (from American Crafts). I would love one of these for myself for scrapbooking on the go, but I also realized looking at it that it would make a great travel kit for a crafter in the tween years. It includes all the tools you would need to create a mixed media journal or simple scrapbook – just add a small notebook and some pictures. The only warning here is that I noticed it has a needle and thread as well as a push pin, so you would need to adjust the contents depending on the age of your young crafter.
The “Lace and Play Hedgehog” set from Imagine I Can also caught my eye. I love the simple designs on these sets and how they teach stitching in a fun and easy way. And since you can stitch the pieces together over and over again in different patterns, it is a craft that is reusable. I also appreciate that this is appropriate for the younger crafters with a 3+ age range.
The Crafter’s Caddy from Creative Options is bright colored and just the right size for holding all the tools for children’s crafts. It would keep everything contained and easy to find, and the pull out drawer on the bottom is great for smaller items.
The Face-a-Day book: Doodle Your Mood journal is a great option for any young crafter. It gives them an opportunity to write a bit about their day and draw a picture of their face to depict a mood.
This book would make a great gift, and would come in handy for those kids that have a hard time expressing how they feel. You can see that the pages are guided so the author can write down meals, weather, and other tidbits about your day. And each page has a different colored circle for drawing the mood/face.
And more exciting book news! On June 18th the new “Martha Stewart: Crafts for Kids” book will be released. It was on display at the CHA show, but the cover had not been finalized so I don’t have a picture. I got to take a look at the inside and in true Martha style the crafts are well thought out with clear instructions. I can’t wait for this book!
And as I was leaving the CHA show I was drawn into one of the most colorful displays there. Take a look at this rainbow of tie-dye onesies and see if you could resist these happy colors!
Tulip offers a huge range of tie-dye kits and I think any kid would love to make a wearable piece of art. To me, it is the quintessential summertime craft, so I have a few months to plan out some tie-dye projects.
So what CHA Winter 2013 kids’ crafts are you excited to try out?
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