I get really stuck for ideas and inspiration when I am painting and making things with my Little Man. So I bought a couple of craft books when I was putting together an Arts & Craft Box for my two year old niece as a gift for her birthday. I bought one for my niece (or my sister!) and one for me, so we can get a bit more creative then just blobbing paint on some paper.
The two I bought were:
- Creative Crafts For Kids – Over 100 Projects for Two to Ten Year Olds – Hamlyn
- 365 Things to Make and Do – Usborne Activities, Fiona Watt
Book 1: Creative Crafts For Kids
There are loads of really great projects to do, not just drawing and painting, so you’ll never be stuck for inspiration. I am actually amazed about the variety of ideas. I really like it.
As the title says, there are projects for two to ten year olds and each one gives you a guide as to which age group it would be suitable for, tells you exactly what you need and how long roughly it will take.
There are lots of different ideas for birthday and thank you cards, including gift tags, which are the main things I tend to make with my Little Man. There is a whole section on decorations from Easter, Halloween to Christmas – some really simple but effective ideas too. My particular favourites, are the incey-wincey spiders and the Christmas cone decorations, especially Rudolf the reindeer!
How to Make The Incey-Wincey Spiders
How to Make Rudolph and Friends
All of the materials you need are all very basic, so there is no need to have to go out and spend a fortune on bits and bobs. I really liked the ‘Make it, Wear it’ chapter, where you’ll find an array of headbands, masks and puppets. There is also a chapter called ‘Home Sweet Home’, which is mainly for the five to ten year olds. In this section, you’ll find fridge magnets, egg cosy’s and bird feeders, to name a few. The animal paper weights would be easy enough for little ones though.
My favourite section has to be ‘Smells Nice’, where you can make bath salts, novelty soaps, sugar scrubs and Christingle candles. You can wrap them up nicely and they would be great to give away for gifts – that’s right up my street.
Finally, there is a cooking chapter at the end, where you can make the old classics of coconut ice and peppermint creams – that takes me back to my primary school summer fetes! There are also some seasonal goodies to make too, from Easter egg faces, bat biscuits to gingerbread decorations.
So if you are looking for inspiration for doing arts and crafts with the kids, I would really recommend this book. I’m really happy with it and well worth the £5.99 I paid for it. I think my sister will love it too (I may have to purchase another for myself!).
Book 2: 365 Things To Make And Do
This is the book I am keeping for myself. I would say the Creative Crafts for Kids
was better for what I am looking for. Which is more making things with my two year old, rather then just painting and drawing. It was slightly more expensive at £7.79, but still good value. I prefer the style of the book though, the ring binder makes it so much easier to look through and prop up on the table when you are creating things and getting messy.
I think this book is ideal for older kids that love drawing and are keen to learn how to draw new things. When I say older, I am thinking more six to ten year olds. There are loads of tutorials on how to draw certain things like castles, fingerprint characters (picture below), flowers and animals. I know when I was younger, I would have loved this! I may actually learn something now. There is also a lot of card making and picture collages that you can make from newspaper or tissue paper.
The pipe-cleaner bugs (below) and the pirate hats are more suitable for my two year old – and the handprint painting is cute too.
You don’t have to stick to what the book says though. I used the handprinted butterflies section as inspiration for our Nanny’s Mother’s Day cards, as you can see below.
There is plenty in here to keep us occupied for a while, but as mentioned before I think this would be more ideal for when the Little Man is a bit older.
Thanks for reading……AML x