Best Craft Gifts
Busy Hands are Happy Hands!
Tags: crafts, drawing, painting, pasting,
Posted: 2010-01-10 19:40:53 By: Joanne Oppenheim

 

Crafts help develop their stick-to-it ability, their eye hand dexterity, their skill at following directions, and even their creativity.Younger kids like exploring new material. Older kids like having an end product they can use or display with pride.

We looked for choices that will interest both girls and boys. None are more than $30 and most are well under $20.  Here are some of the top crafty choices for various ages that will fill their vacation time.

 

 


2009 Award
Bejeweled Bead Chest
(Bead Bazaar $24.95 Score: )

Normal 0 0 1 116 372 372 53 813 11.1282 0 0 0

The newest of this company's decorative jewelry chests that comes with three drawers and a colorful supply of wooden beads for making necklaces and bracelets. The kit includes a good supply of painted wooden beads and charms along with stringing material. This kind of activity is not just entertaining, it develops fine motor skills as well as creativity. Older kids especially like art kits with end products they can display or wear or give as gifts. The chest will be a welcome decoration for a girl’s room. There are other color schemes, same idea. A two fold gift that will have a life long after the beads are used up. 8 & up.  

The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

 

 

 

 
2009 Awards
Creativity for Kids Polka Dot Purse
(Creativity for Kids $17.99 Score: )

A cute violet canvas purse with more than 100 felt stick-ons to decorate it. This is pretty easy to do with no cutting and pre-stick felt pieces. Comes with a ribbon that feeds through the loops on top for a finished craft look. This is a simple to do kit with no right or wrong way of designing. Yet, the finished product is pretty enough to carry with the pride of being able to say..."I made it myself!" The box say 3 & up. We'd say 5 & up is closer to the right age. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

 

 

 


2009 Award
Paper Beads
(by Anne Akers Johnson, Klutz $21.95 Score: )

Normal 0 0 1 38 221 1 1 271 11.1282 0 0 0

Everything you need to make paper beads and most of all to learn the technique for creating them and jewelry. This would make a good play date activity for friends or cousins to share. Also a good choice for developing fine motor skills as well as patience. 9 & up.

Age: . Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

 

 

 


2002 Award
Colossal Barrel of Crafts
(Chenille Kraft Co. $39.99 Score: ) Like a giant jar of treats in an old fashioned candy store, this huge plastic jar has mammoth supply of pom-poms, craft sticks, beads and string, foam shapes, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, glitter, metallic spangles, cutters, and plasticine. Add glue, scissors and imagination for many crafty seeeions. 4-8. Similar but with less “stuff” (and also less expensive) is the Giant Art Jar (Alex $ 24 41⁄2). 3 & up.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2002.

 

 

 

 
2008 Awards
Crayola Color Surge
(Crayola $7.99 Score: )

Magical drawing experiences when these color surge markers touch down on the brilliantly colored double-sided paper. The colors brighten up as you draw and turn colors as one marker glides over an earlier line. Sets come with 8 or more markers and 20 or more sheets. This makes a great open-ended travel toy or a good choice for some non-messy creative time for a play date. Take it to Grams--chances are she will want to try it! 5 & up.

The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab. SNAP ACTIVITY: Use these magical markers and paper to encourage kids to practice writing their names and turn the finished work into signs for the door to her room or cover of his notebook. First you write a letter...then have the child trace your letter. This follow the leader game is a great way to make work into play with a happy payoff!

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2008. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

 

 

 


2009 Award
How To Draw Funny
(by David Sheldon & Klutz Editors, Klutz $16.95 Score: )

A simple way to discover how to draw a range of emotions in cartoon form. Each page shows a model and below it a blank faced form that kids can copy. The book comes with 3 markers, a mechanical pencil and eraser and plenty of fundamental ideas that can be carried away for more original drawing. There is also a template for making cartoon bubbles and turning drawings into a comic strip. A fun book for a long flight or for quiet time on the porch or lakeside. 7 & up.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

 

 

 


2009 Award
Crayola Crayon Maker
(Crayola $29.99 Score: )

The Crayon Maker is a past Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award winner that is making a come back this year. As with the original, kids can take their old crayons and make their own "colors" by combining pieces in the mold. From our point of view, the machine has been improved--you can now see through the dome as the crayons melt. (The process was hidden in the previous design.) The machine will not open until the tray is cool--we put the tray into the freezer to speed up the process. Takes a 60-watt candelabra light bulb--not included but well marked as such on the box. Still lots of fun!

The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

 

 

 

 
2009 Awards
Creativity for Kids Cool Creations Craft with Clay
(Creativity for Kids $19.99 Score: )

Get ready to create all kinds of clay creatures or vehicles. A terrific clay kit that includes 8 packages of soft air-dry clay, colorful chenille stems, small marabou feathers, wiggly eyes, beads, fuzzy fur, clay sculpting tool, craft glue, and storage bag. Comes with instructions and a sheet of fun ideas. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab. 5 & up

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

 

 

 

  
2009 Awards
Wikki Stix Activities
(International Playthings $30 Score: )

This carrying case is loaded with waxed strings known as wikki stix that come in many colors and can be bent into letters, numerals and animal shapes. This set includes activity cards that can be used as templates or the materials can be used in an open ended way. This kind of activity involves the fine motor skills kids will need for writing, so this is a fun way to develop those finger muscles without drilling with pencil and paper tasks. 4 & up.
       The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.
 

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

 

 

 


2009 Award
Crayola Color Explosion Glow Dome
(Crayola $28 Score: )

Use the six glow markers to decorate the see through dome and the center wall that slides into place. Turn off the lights, turn on the switch and abra-ca-dabra the dome lights up and move. There is a spin action button to set you scene in motion. This comes with two starter scenes but it's open-ended so kids can make their own drawings. Best of all the images wipe off and the dome is ready for a new look. Be forewarned, the motor is noisy. Testers gave this a positive rating. 6 & up.
The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.


 

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

 

 

 


2009 Award
Creativity for Kids Fancy Felt Trinket Keeper
(Creativity for Kids $24 Score: )

A round two-tiered chipboard trinket box comes with over 100 felt stick-ons to decorate the box. The pink and white box has velvet lined shelves and the stick-on felt flowers and birds come in blue, green, orange and pink. A simple but pleasing craft kit that kids can use to store their treasures.  Comes with simple easy to follow directions and ideas. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

 

 
Products for Infants
Products for Toddlers
Products for Preschoolers
Products for Early School Years
Products for Later School Years
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