The introduction to this activity book is a breath of fresh air. Dutch writer Sarah Devos reminds we adults to be there to work with the kids, if needed, but to give them the opportunity to make something for themselves. Developmental guidelines for different ages are provided as a guide and the book is aimed at 5-10 year olds but I can think of quite a few children outside this range who would enjoy these activities.
The photographs and illustrations by Emma Thyssen have a wonderful child-like or naïve quality and yet still provide clear instructions on where to cut, glue and paint. To this end, Devos has provided realistic examples which are not perfect but achievable for kids.
You don’t need to be a great artist or require a cupboard full of supplies for these activities. The author recommends basic crafting supplies you could pick up when on sale and suggests collecting useful stuff such as egg cartons, corks and old socks to use for crafting projects.
The projects are listed under Season, Parties, and Classics, with Creepy Crafts concluding the list of 100 activities. They include: the classic Fortune Teller of folded paper, with each folded down flap concealing silly answers to the question Who am I?; making a Snow Globe with a plastic toy and glitter; crackers (bonbons) complete with sweet treats or toys; a marble track made from a shoe box and paddle pop sticks; and ending with a Deranged Dragon breathing fire!
I especially like that Devos doesn’t suggest that the child/children get the adults to do certain parts of the projects. For instance, when making a Penguin Colony from an egg carton, which requires cutting, gluing and painting skills, she credits both young and old with the ability to decide whether assistance is needed. There are lots of ideas that kids will be able to do for themselves and they will be as pleased as punch to present you with their finished project.
This would be a great addition to the Christmas stocking for kids, or parents, to try out over the upcoming summer holidays. I highly recommend it.
Reviewed by Jan Kershaw
Rating out of 10: 10