Category Archives: Arts & Crafts

BigOtters Ice Cream Balancing Game

KEEP THE ICE CREAM SCOOPS FROM FALLING OFF

~ What ~
Made of colorful non-toxic ABS plastic, this 22-piece game is for children 3 years old or older who like to play a balancing game building pretend ice cream cones. The set contains a tray base, plate, coffee cup, 2 cones, tongs, 8 balls, and 8 pastry donuts. It arrives in a gift box with instructions, ready for giving.

~ Why ~
Our 6 and 3 year old granddaughters love ice cream so this is a fun game they can play while pretending to stack cones on a round tray. I like the colorful scoops and donuts that can be used for other play games. The plastic is thicker than most game pieces.

~ Why Not ~
Some may not realize how small items are, but they are large enough that one cannot choke on them unless the parts break off. Others may find it too hard to balance the cones on the trays as the cup and donuts easily fall off, however, the photo has them perched on a table and balanced.

~ Wish ~
I wish the items were a little larger. It may be a frustrating game for younger kids, but they could use the items to play house.

~ Want ~
If your kids have a thing about ice cream and you don’t want to load them up with sugar, this game may keep them occupied for an hour or two.

Thanks for BigOtters for this discounted product that I am under no obligation to evaluate.

#RankBoosterReview #Sponsoredbysally #BigOtters #IceCreamBalancingGame

This product can be purchased at https://amzn.to/3dpjrwp

 

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The Hand Lettering Workbook

Title: The Hand Lettering Workbook
Author: Amanda Kammarada
Publisher: Rockridge Press
ISBN: 978-1-64611-386-6

“In this book, I’ll walk you through the basics and all the way through to designing a complete piece of lettering,” Amanda Kammarada explains in the introduction of her book, The Hand Lettering Workbook: Step-by-Step Instructions, Practice Pages, and DIY Projects.

~ What ~
This two-hundred-and-eight-page paperback targets those who want to learn how to have beautiful letter handwriting. After an introduction, there are five chapters covering the topic and ending with resources, an index, acknowledgments, and the author’s biography.

This book begins with an explanation of hand lettering, guidelines, styles, tools, and supplies as well as sans serif, serif, and monoline script practice pages. It has complete chapters on brush lettering discussing pressure, strokes, and connection and the basics of faux calligraphy. The final chapter includes practicing connections, making words, bouncing, flourishing, ligatures, embellishing, expressing, developing one’s style, and DIY projects.

~ Why ~
Having a degree in art, I like having a hands-on book that explains how to write cursive including both upper and lower case letters. I appreciate that it not only has practice sheets with examples but also need-to-know terms, different techniques, and various writing instrument options.

~ Why Not ~
Some may have no interest in hand lettering or the art of drawing letters, but it can be a calming, stress-free activity. Others may wish there were more practice pages as there is limited space for writing a single letter repeatedly.

~ Wish ~
Mainly focusing on sans serif, serif, and script lettering along with brush lettering and faux calligraphy, the book is limited on fonts. I wish it contained more style or design options.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a way to learn how to write letters by hand beautifully, this workbook is a great beginner’s source that is full of information, but it is limited to mainly three styles.

Thanks to Callisto Publisher’s Club and the author for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

#RockridgePress #CallistoPublishersClub #AmandaKammarada #TheHandLetteringWorkbook

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/2Ytx5uc

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Ocean Life!

Title: Ocean Life!
Author: Jill Richardson
Illustrator: Kate Francis
Publisher: Rockridge Press
ISBN: 978-1-64611-691-1

“Ready to find out about some interesting ocean animals? Let’s begin our fun!” Jill Richardson’s children’s book, Ocean Life! A Coloring and Activity Book for Kids states in the welcome section.

~ What ~
This seventy-two-page paperback targets children ages four to eight years old who enjoy coloring and activity books, especially if they involve sea life. With no profanity or too scary scenes, over fifty word searches, comparisons, dot-to-dots, mazes, and drawings to color fill its pages.

After an ownership page and welcome, this book contains thirty puzzles to complete and thirty black and white illustrations to color. Often there are educational tidbits about the animals and plants regarding the sea. There are eight each of word searches and mazes and seven each of comparisons and dot-to-dots. The ending has all the answers.

~ Why ~
Our six-year-old granddaughter loves educational books about marine life, and this one is spot on with its added information on humpback whales, narwhals, lionfish, parrotfish, sea anemone, horseshoe crab, and others. I appreciated the comparison pictures, dot-to-dot creations, and highlighted information. Some of the pages would work for our younger grandchildren.

~ Why Not ~
While the coloring pages could be for any age, some of the word searches may be too hard for some. With the book containing thirty each of coloring and activities, some may wish there were more puzzles and mazes instead of illustrations.

~ Wish ~
While I was impressed with this read, I wish other themed books on jungles, birds, reptiles, et cetera were also designed similarly.

~ Want ~
If your child is fascinated by the ocean and enjoys activity/coloring books, this is a perfect answer to a stay-at-home day. It not only is fun but educational. Our granddaughter will be delighted finding her favorite sea creature, the narwhal, in it.

Thanks to Callisto Publisher’s Club and the author for this complimentary that I am under no obligation to review.

#OceanLife #SeaColoringBook #MarineActivityBook #JillRichardson #KateFrancis #RockridgePress #CallistoPublisher’sClub

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/2XkgsR5

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Filed under ***** Great - A Keeper, If You Borrow It, Give It Back!, Animals / Pets, Arts & Crafts, Childrens

AukCherie Pipe Cleaner Set

100 EACH OF COLORED PIPECLEANERS, EYES, & POMPOMS

~ What ~
Made of a flexible metal wire with chenille fiber covering, plastic eyes, and soft round balls, this pack includes 300 pieces of pipe cleaners, eyeballs, and pompoms. With 100 of each item, there are 10 different colors of the 12-inch long sticks, 10 different colors with 5 different sizes of pompoms, and 3 sizes of black eyes on white backgrounds. They arrive in a cellophane bag with no instructions.

~ Why ~
With 4 grandchildren, I love to have art projects when they come to visit from out of state. As an artist, I like working with any type of medium, including bendable pipe cleaners, pompoms, and eyes. I like that there are so many different colors of the pipe cleaners and pompoms that can be shaped into a myriad of objects. The eyes are fun to add to any art project too.

~ Why Not ~
Some may want the pipes to be either longer or shorter, but a foot-long is a decent size. Others may wish there were more of each color.

~ Wish ~
I wish silver and gold wires were also were included.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a fun way to decorate or be entertained using colorful, flexible soft wires, little pompoms, and fun eyeballs, this will keep young ones (and even adults) entertained for hours.

Thanks to AukCherie for this discounted product that I am under no obligation to evaluate.

#RankBoosterReview #SponsoredbyCherry #AukCherie #ColoredPipeCleaners #PipeCleanersEyesPomPoms

This product can be purchased at https://amzn.to/31fVmmB

 

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Koogel Marine-Themed Fondant Mold Set

5 SILICONE MOLDS WITH 21 SEA DESIGNS

~ What ~
Made of food-grade silicone, this set includes 5 different molds that have a marine-theme for fondant, clay, Play-doh, and other creative options. The 21 designs include a 3.2 by 2.2 mermaid tail, dolphins, seahorse, starfish, fish, crab, and seashells from 0.6 to 1.2 inches. No care or cleaning instructions are included, and they arrive in a cellophane bag.

~ Why ~
Having 4 grandchildren under age 6 years old, I love doing crafts with them when they visit, so this is a fun one that can be enjoyed by all, especially the oldest who loves marine animals and working with clay. Because the forms are made of flexible silicone, they are easy to use and remove the formed fondant, clay, Play-doh, mud, and more. I like the detail work of the designs.

~ Why Not ~
Some may not like working with molds as they can be messy if using fillers that have to settle over time to solidify. Others may not like the marine theme, but it is varied with plenty of options. Some of the shells are very small, but they may be the perfect size to decorate a cake.

~ Wish ~
I wish some of the items were a little bit bigger so easier to handle for little ones. It would be helpful to include instructions/tips as usually using Spam or spray oil may be needed to release the molds.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a way to decorate a cake to have a seashore look or have kids that love the ocean and its animals, this is a lovely choice.

Thanks to Koogel for this discounted product that I am under no obligation to review.

#RankBoosterReview #SponsoredbySally #Koogel #MarineCakeMolds #MarineThemeMolds

This item can be found at https://amzn.to/38XiEQU

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Stanley Jr. Race Car Kit

BUILD YOUR OWN TOY RACE CAR

~ What ~
Made of wood and plastic, this 31-piece DIY kit contains all materials to make a toy race car. Measuring 6.6 by 3 by 2.8 inches, it takes approximately 45 minutes to assemble. With precut wood on the bottom and sides and a plastic shell with plastic wheels, it also comes with 2 sizes of screws, 2 axels, 4 wheels, 4 paints, paintbrush, and decals. It includes instructions in its gift box and is geared for children 5 years or older.

~ Why ~
Using your hands to build toy cars is fun and creative. I like that all the wood parts are precut and the holes are started. By using a screwdriver and hammer, I built it in about a half-hour. Including blue, red, white, and yellow paints plus the decal stickers complete the set.

~ Why Not ~
Some may not care to assemble a car model, but this one is easy because there are not too many parts. Little kids may not have enough strength to push the screwdriver firmly into the hardwood to tighten the screws.

~ Wish ~
I wish the holes for the longer screws were a little deeper so they would be easier to tighten.

~ Want ~
If your child is into models and building them (especially race cars), this would make a nice addition to his or her collection, but adults may be needed for assembling.

Thanks to Stanley Jr. for this product that I am under no obligation to review.

This product can be purchased at https://amzn.to/2T5XVE0

 

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Seek and Explore Devotions for Kids

Title: Seek and Explore Devotions for Kids
Authors: Yvonne H. Van Ee & Michael James Williams
Interior Designer: Denise Froehlich
Publisher: Zonderkidz
ISBN: 978-0-310-76034-4

“When you are finished with this book, you will understand what God is saying to you in every book of the Bible” Yvonne H. Van Ee and Michael Williams write in the introduction of their children’s book, Seek and Explore Devotions for Kids: 365 Days of Hands-On Activities.

~ What ~
This 384-page hardbound targets children ages six to ten years old who want an explorative devotional of the books of the Bible with activities they can do. Including nine animal friends and crafts to do on some of the pages, the over-year-long devotional uses the New International Reader’s Version of the Holy Bible.

After acknowledgments and an introduction, there are sixty-one weeks that have six days of devotional relating to every book in the Old and New Testament. As the six-day week is dedicated to a Bible book, the first day is titled Read About It, followed by Think About It, Finding Jesus, Write About It, Pray About It, and finally Do Something About It. Several writing and art projects are listed in each chapter that may include puzzles, fill-in-the-blanks, or creative art designs that one or more can do. There is an answer key at the end of the book.

~ Why ~
This makes a good devotional for young ones who like to read, write, or create as one learns about the different books of the Bible. I like that there is a format for each book to be explored throughout the six-day period.

Here are some of the highlights of Week 8 that covers the book of Ruth, one of my favorites to read:
Day 1 – Read About It: A summary of the book showing how God makes empty lives full.
Day 2 – Think About It: By reading specific verses in Ruth, fill in the words.
Day 3 – Finding Jesus in Ruth: After discussing Christ’s genealogy, put the names in order.
Day 4 – Write About It: While bad things happen, write when have you felt empty in life.
Day 5 – Pray About It: Read the prayer and write reasons why God loves you.
Day 6 – Do the paper cup project that shows how God can stop when we feel drained.

~ Why Not ~
 For those in first to fifth grade who want nothing to do with learning about the Holy Bible, this would not be a good choice. Some may not care for the Bible version used or that it takes more than a year to read (sixty-one weeks). There are more writing projects than artwork. If the craft asks to cut out the paper, the book cannot be reused.

~ Wish ~
There may not be ample space for some children to write in this book as only a few lines are available. I wish all pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence.

~ Want ~
If your elementary-school child wants to know more about each book in the Word of God, this is a good choice if he or she likes to write a lot and do thinking-games or art.

Thanks to ZBlogSquad for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/2SbyNeC

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Buck Denver’s Bible Coloring Book: Old Testament Stories

Buck Denver's Bible Coloring Book: Old Testament StoriesTitle:  Buck Denver’s Bible Coloring Book: Old Testament Stories
Illustrator: Buck Denver
Publisher: JellyTelly Press
ISBN: 978-1-5460-0994-8

“Coloring pages include a simple summary of each big Bible moment to spark faith-building conversations as you color!” the back jacket states in Buck Denver’s Bible Coloring Book: Old Testament Stories.

~ What ~
This sixty-four-page oversized paperback targets children five to six years old who enjoy a coloring book devoted to Old Testament stories. With bold and expressive drawings in black and white on all the pages, there are short one to two sentences of stories with the majority being horizontal, not vertical.  The ESV and NLT versions of the Holy Bible are referenced. There is an offer for a free month of unlimited streaming on their jellytelly entertainment website.

~ Why ~
Those who love to fill in coloring books will love this one that promotes God in the 1st half of the Word of God. I like that the illustrations do not depict scary scenes of Moses with the plagues, David and Goliath, Daniel’s friends in the fire, or Jonah with the big fish. It is thoughtful the drawings are sideways on the pages, include Scripture chapters on most of the stories, and that the pages are perforated so can be carefully removed.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with the Almighty may not be interested in this type of coloring book. Others may not care for coloring. Some may wish the cardstock used were thicker to avoid ink or markers bleeding since the drawings are on both sides of the pages. A few may not appreciate that the scenes are taken from another one of Buck’s books.

~ Wish ~
Since the illustrations are on both sides of the pages that are not thick, colors may bleed through to the other side. I wish the book had one side blank so the artist could cut out and frame the finished design.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a fun coloring book of engaging depictions of God’s stories from the Old Testament, this one will make a young artist happy. Be sure to get the New Testament coloring book to complete the set.

Thanks to Hatchette Books for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

This book can be purchased at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/buck-denvers-bible-coloring-book-jelly-telly-press/1128621190

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Create! A Girl’s Guide to DIY, Doodles & Design

Create!: A Girl's Guide to DIY, Doodles, and DesignTitle: Create: A Girl’s Guide to DIY, Doodles & Design
Author: Ashley N. Mays
Publisher: Zonderkids
ISBN: 978-0-310-76316-1

“Whether you’re an aspiring designer or you just want to try a fun new craft with friends – Create! Will bring out your inner artist,” the back jacket states in Ashley N. Mays book, Create: A Girl’s Guide to DIY, Doodles & Design.

~ What ~
Part of the Faithgirlz series, this one-hundred-and-forty-four-page paperback targets girls eight to twelve years old, especially those who are creative and like making things. As a collection of more than fifty projects, it comes complete with color photographs and instructions. Published by a Christian organization, it contains few religious references.

After an introduction, the book is divided into three sections: DIYs, doodles, and design, ending with an index of materials, listing what can be made from them. Covering two to six pages each, the creation begins with a descriptive title and heading; materials are listed in used order and followed by numbered directions. Often a highlighted “Jazz It Up” area is for added ideas and suggestions.

Some of the crafts include soap box prayer kit, pom-pom magnets and push pins, book page daisies, DIY counter organizer, paint chip word banner, Bible verse poster, blue jean tote bag, glitter button earrings, DIY no-slip socks, and duct tape red rose bouquet, bag, and Bible cover.

~ Why ~
This book offers many fun crafts for preteen girls who get bored easily and need stimulation or ideas for something to do. My favorite were the Altoid tin mini emergency kit, hollow book storage, how to draw a butterfly three ways, doodle a dress, shirt, and pants for paper dolls, and fabric scrap flip-flops.

Why Not ~
Girls who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ may not like the references to Him throughout the pages, but they are not obtrusive. Those who are not creative may not like the activities; many of which can be found online or on YouTube.

~ Wish ~
It would be helpful if a time frame were provided for each craft.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a book for a creative female pre-teen, this one will be enjoyed with its many different ideas.

Thanks to Book Look Bloggers for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

This book can be purchased at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/create-ashley-mays/1127970040

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The Adventure Bible Book of Daring Deeds and Epic Creations

The Adventure Bible Book of Daring Deeds and Epic Creations: 60 ultimate try-something-new, explore-the-world activitiesTitle: Adventure Bible: Book of Daring Deeds and Epic Creations
Author: Sherry Kyle
Illustrator: Dave Smith
Publisher: Zonderkids
ISBN: 978-0-310-76317-8

“From easy, do-it-yourself crafts to fun outdoor activities, The Adventure Bible: Book of Daring Deeds and Epic Creations shows kids how to find adventure indoors and out,” states the back jacket of the book.

~ What ~
This one-hundred-and-sixty-page small hardbound targets children ages eight to twelve years old who like to do crafts and projects indoors or outside. Containing sixty different activities, it also reminds the reader of God and His Word. Scriptures referenced are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version.

Part of the Adventure Bible series, this one focuses on fun crafts and activities to do for third graders and older. After an introduction, it includes creative projects that cover two to three pages each; it ends with a topical index and advertisements. Each activity has a title and short paragraph about it, followed by materials needed, numbered instructions, optional tips and features, a highlighted “Think About This” box in how it relates to God, Jesus, or the Bible, and a written out Bible verse on a scroll background. Some of the projects involve a balloon rocket, cosmic art, finger knitting, geocaching, hand prayer, leaf tracking, pet rocks, slime, tin can phone, and wind chimes.

~ Why ~
Having a degree in art, I love books that promote creativity in children, and this one does it wonderfully. I love how the topic of God is not overbearing so non-believers will have fun doing the craft and reading the small “God” comment and Bible verse. Some of my favorite activities were cloud soap, flower press, mason jar herb garden, potato-art tote, solar oven, and toilet paper roll flowers. I think this is an ideal book for artsy children, teachers, after-school programs, and summer camps while lightly mentioning God.

~ Why Not ~
For those who want nothing to do with learning about the Almighty, this may offend some, but it is not done in an overwhelming sense. Those who have no knack for creativity may avoid such a book.

~ Wish ~
I wish some of the instructions had corresponding illustrations for those who cannot visualize the written directions.

~ Want ~
If you have a child or are in charge of several and have no clue what to do to keep them occupied, this is a handy book that they will enjoy and cherish over time as they complete its fun projects.

Thanks to Z Blog Squad for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

This book can be purchased at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-adventure-bible-book-of-daring-deeds-and-epic-creations-zondervan/1126606232

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