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

 


2014 Award
Klutz String Art
(Klutz $19.99 Score:)

A book with a batch of art supplies that will keep hands busy for hours. The book includes clear directions, pins, threads, templates, foam boards and tracing paper to create some tricky looking string art. Kids can hang it up in their rooms or give it as gifts. Ideal for 10's and up who frequently get self conscious about their drawings not being as perfect as their expectations. This kind of art material gives them alternative ways to create and express themselves. It also challenges dexterity and stick-to-it-ness for projects tht are not instantly complete. These take patience. 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
Ideal Mega Magic Show
(Poof Slinky $34.99 Score:)

With 64 pieces and the promise of 220 tricks, this is a great place to start with a child interested in learning some magic tricks. The set inclues a top hat (no bunny), magic cards, cloth handkerchief, magic lunch box, a fake thumb, a magic wand, special tubes, bottles, cups, disappearing card box, etc.   There is also an instruction booklet that walks you through the tricks.While this may seem like pure entertainment, learning to do the tricks is really all about reading, following directions and practicing. It requires a lot of effort with a fun pay-off and may lead to a fun hobby.

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
Crayola Shadow FX Color Projector
(Crayola $24 Score:)

Kids can use this innovative color projector in a number of different ways. They can draw designs on a see-through panel and project their original images on the wall with the three colored lights that pivot and allow kids to change the colors and brightness. Kids can place objects or themselves between the light and the wall to make shadow puppet shows or use the shapes provided in the kit. The projector has telescope arms so you can widen the projections. This is one of those fun art kits with a scientific edge, inviting kids to discover in a hands-on way how shadows, lights, and colors can create all kinds of images, large and small. It is also fun for storytelling and artistic expression. Kit includes special FX Gel Markers that can be stored in the base.  Testers preferred this projector to Crayola's new ceiling model. Requires 3 AA batteries. 6 & 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
Crayola Virtual Design Pro-Fashion Set
(Crayola $38.99 Score:)

This is the deluxe version of the Crayola Virtual Fashion Show kit, one of the most innovative activity kits to come down the pike in a long time. Kids can create their own fabulous fashions in the 20 page Sketch Book by coloring the front and back of the images in the booklet. Next they take photos of their designs with their device, meaning smart phone or i-pad. Using the My Virtual app to customize the models looks and accessories, they create models ready for the runway. Once the designing is done, they can watch their original fashions come to life as 3-D models walk up and down the runway, showing front and back of their fashion. 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 put more into using this as more than a coloring book. The more design elements that older girls can add, the more impressive this will be. This deluxe kit comes with more tools than the Crayola My Virtual Fashion Show. It includes Design portfolio case, a 20-page design book, 36 colored pencils, pencil sharpener, 20 Super Tips markers, 4 stencils and My Virtual Fashion Show App. We discovered that other markers work just fine and you can print new templates directly from the app (no charge) so you always have more options and don't have to buy new notebooks in order to continue to create. 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. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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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 Awards
Loopdeloom Weaving Loom Kit
(Loopdedoo $34.99 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. You can weave any length up to 7" wide. 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. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Awards
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! We discovered that other markers work just fine and you can print new templates directly from the app (no charge) so you always have more options and don't have to buy new notebooks in order to continue to create. There is more elaborate version of this toy with more markers, but this less expensive version has a nice carry case for the book to fit into.  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 point 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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