Search Results for -
Product Type: Toys
Age: Late Elementary School Years
Categories: Activity and Craft Kits

 


2014 Award
Craft Tastic String Art Kit
(Loopdedoo $25 Score:)

Kids can use the patterns in the box or make their own to create three string art masterpieces to hang in their room or give as a gift. The kit comes with three foam canvases, templates, 170 pins, 60 yards of colorful threads and instructions. String art involves fine motor skills, patience and creativity. Their designs include a the greeting "Hi", a peace sign and a heart. 10 & up.

Age: Later School Years, Tweens, Teens. Award Year: 2014.

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2014 Award
Craft Tastic Spindle Weaving Loom
(Loopdedoo $30 Score:)

A clever device that gives beginners a hands-on experience in dealing with the warp and weft of cloth making. It is a small upright loom that works like the kinds of wall size looms used for weaving fabrics and rugs. The plastic device in the kit has a shuttle lever that you must turn to shift the tall spindles after each row has been completed. It comes with a multicolored hank of yarn, some of it must be cut into long strands to make the warp (the length long lines that the weft are woven through) before you begin to weave. The end-products can be used to make scarves, pillow covers, squares for a throw...you name it. You will need scissors and more yarn for extra projects. An excellent device for learning an ancient craft that is still used in many parts of the world. 10 & up.

Age: Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2014.

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2014 Award
Craft Tastic Pom Pom Kit
(Loopdedoo $25 Score:)

You get an adjustable bamboo tool with three planks and two pegs so that you can make pom-poms of various sizes and quantities. In fact, you can make one or as many as twenty-four small pom-poms all at the same time. You also get 300 yards of soft colorful yarn and instructions for making everything from 1" to a giant 15" pom pom! It's a simple wrap, tie, cut and trim operation. You do not get the requisite scissors. A great craft item for 8's and up.

Age: Later School Years, Tweens, Teens, Adult. Award Year: 2014.

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Crayola Sketch Wizard
(Crayola $25 Score:)


We were excited when we took this out of the box. Although we are usually not fond of toys that are about tracing, this seemed a different kind of technology than tracing paper, since it suggested we could trace 3-D objects, as well as photos and pictures. Well you can and we did, but the results were mixed. Finding the right sized objects that fit can turn into a Goldilocks deal with things that are too big, too small and rarely just right. We also found that you need a steady hand and have to be very careful not to move the paper or you end up with something with extremely blurry edges. As for photos copying, that may be interesting, but not entirely satisfying. Photos that we tried to copy into line drawings looked weird. All in all, we have to say this is definitely not for young kids. Our ten-year old tester was pretty frustrated and disappointed, as were several adults who tried it. It may be interesting to some as a way of exploring drawing, though if they want something exacting, tracing paper may be a better bet. 8 & up

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2014.

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2014 Award
Crayola My Virtual Fashion Show
(Crayola $19.99 Score:)

Wow! Young fashion designers can create fabulous fashions in their 20-page Fashion Sketch Book by coloring the front and back images of clothes in the book. The kit comes with 12 colored pencils. Next, they take a photo of their designs with their "device" (meaning smart phones or i-pad) and use the My Virtual Fashion Show app to customize the model’s look and accessories. Got it all set? Now kids can watch their original fashions on the runway as the 3-D model walks and spins to show front and back of their high style creations. Their creations can be saved on the device to view again and again. Instead of giving over your device, most of the designing is done on paper and then viewed on the device. Now, this is technology they gotta love, if they are into fashion! They say 6 & up. We'd say slightly older girls will be using this as more than a coloring book. Older girls will be able to add the more design elements for impressive results. Our ten year old tester said this was the most exciting new electronic art toy of the year. We have to agree.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Award
Crayola Paint Maker
(Crayola $24.99 Score:)

Our 10-year old reviewer, who is interested in art was excited about this new take on paint that she could make herself. You get 75 color strips in three colors(red, blue, and yellow) with a color mixing guide for making custom colors. The kit also includes 15 small paint pots and labels along with base white paint and brush. Our tester's mom writes that Paint Maker "is a neat way to be part of the artistic process from the ground up." Our tester "enjoyed picking out the color combinations and was able to do the entire thing very readily on her own...getting much more satisfaction out of creating artwork from her custom creations than she would from a set of store bought paints. Each creation earned some "oohs" and "aahhs."On the negative side, though the toy is operated with a hand crank (look, Ma, no batteries!) it is a little bit loud and there were some complaints of a tired hand. That said, it was fun for a good while! From the parent's paint of view, the big bonus is that it is not too messy since the paint colors are achieved by combining little paper thin strips of yellow, blue and red pigment in various combinations within each paint pot. So, this is not an instantaneous dive in and paint material. It's more about mixing and making the materials before the painting even can begin. A refill pack is available. 8 & up

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Award
Klutz Felted Friends
(Klutz $19.99 Score:)

You start this craft kit with soft fuzzy wool and by following the instructions in the excellent book, transform that wool into adorable felt critters. The kit includes the special tools and materials you need to create really cute little animals. Use the six different colors and the special needle tool on the foam cushion to poke and form a cute little mouse, squirrel, bunny, fox, and cat into one-of-a-kind creations. Following instructions, staying with the task, and patience are all required along with a good deal of care with how and where the tool is used, since it is sharp and not for younger kids to handle. 10 & up.

Age: Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Award
Klutz My Style Studio
(Klutz $21.99 Score:)

Our tester liked this fashion designer kit because it really involved tracing, coloring, and allowed for flexibility in designing. It has restickable stickers that you put on the transparent form. Then you trace and color the unique model. The kit comes with a drawing board, four sheets of clothing, hairstyles and faces to mix and match, plus colored pencils, textured rub sheets and tracing paper. The book gives ideas for designing and adding accessories. This is not an instantaneous reward giving kit. Designing takes time, patience, and skill along with creative ideas. Though we generally prefer more open-ended toys and steer clear of coloring and tracing, we know that older kids are often frustrated with their own drawings and like the safety net this gives them for trying new skills. 8 & up.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Award
Seedling French Knitting Spool
(Seedling $15.99 Score:)

A classic spool to knit long cords that can be stitched together to make doll clothes or bracelets or whatever young designers fancy. The wooden spool is painted like a white and red spotted mushroom and has good-sized loops to wrap the yarn around. It comes with a generous amount of yarn for initial designs, though, kids who get into this craft, will soon be asking you for more wool! Our package had lavender yarn, but the colors may vary. Knitter’s scrap wool is ideal for multicolored projects. 5 & up.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Award
Creativity for Kids Duct Tape Water Bottle
(Creativity for Kids $13 Score:)

Customize a personal plastic water bottle with six colorful rolls (30 feet) of duct tape and foil stickers. A great take along for the beach or bike ride. The bottle is BPA Free and comes with a carabiner clip to fasten to backpack or belt buckle. A creative way to stay hydrated. The price of this product varies on various sites

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years, Tweens, Teens. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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