Reported by Taylor Usry
My daughter and I were so excited to review the Paper Tube Ocean kit from Alex Toys. This kit is part of their amazing line of Little Hands kits, designed to get the creative juices of younger kids (usually age 3 and up) going.
When we opened the box, we found the kit to be full of crafty supplies. Included in the kit were:
- 4 colored paper tubes
- 148 stickers and paper shapes (die cuts)
- 4 pipe cleaners
- fringed paper
- 25 tissue paper squares
- chunky glue stick
- step-by-step picture instructions
As with the Cupcake Crafts kit we also tested out, this paper Tube Ocean kit packaged each project in separate packets, so there was no confusion about which accessories worked with what sea creature. A sticker is on the outside of each packet, showing a black and white version of a finished sample.
The instructions seemed fabulous – one page, front -and-back, with two projects per side. All seemed to be easy to follow pictures, so that my 5-year-old could complete them herself, with little or no help from me.
The chunky glue stick has fuschia glue, which goes on purple but dries clear. For some reason, there was a black spot in this glue stick, which unfortunately wound up transferring to the project during one of the gluing steps.
We started out making the lobster. We briefly considered the jellyfish, but my daughter was concerned she wouldn’t be able to make that one completely on her own, and that’s important to her. She punched out the die-cut shapes very easily. The paper they are made of is not too thick, but it’s thick enough not to tear at all when small, eager hands punch it out. Even the skinny legs for the lobster came out just fine.
My daughter enjoyed making the two projects from this kit, but she was really frustrated by the lobster’s unclear instructions and need for parental involvement. So two projects were all I could get her to complete in one sitting. I think, for a younger child, this kit might be okay because they would expect an adult to be really involved. But for my 5-year-old, who is nearly finished with Kindergarten, she wants to do it all herself and gets frustrated when she can’t.
And I have to say, I was disappointed with the overall quality of this kit compared to the Cupcake Crafts kit we also tried out. The paper tubes had dinged up ends, the glue stick had that awful black spot (yes, it still glues fine, but it showed through some of her projects), and the instructions weren’t as clear. It was still fun to do, but I’d recommend it for older kids, honestly.
- affordable price (the kit retails for $11.95)
- more than enough decorations and supplies to complete the included projects
- it’s fun to make cute little sea creatures!
- for the price, I would have liked there to be more completed projects possible (maybe 6 instead of 4?)
- instructions were a little unclear
- needs more detail work than small hands might be capable of
What types of craft kits would you and your kids enjoy? What do like most or least about kids craft kits? We would love to hear your opinions.
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