Little Things For Busy Hands

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Oct 142011

Just a few more days and the school holidays are over, a relief for many mums who have struggled to keep the kids busy whilst they were stuck inside due to the rainy weather. Sometimes it can be hard to come up with craft projects for kids and craft books are often not much help as you need a whole range of craft supplies, tools and machinery to make them work and most of them require lots of adult help and supervision too.

The new book Little Things for Busy Hands: 16 crafty projects for kids to make without a sewing machine! by Katie Evans contains 16 simple craft projects for kids that they can make (pretty much) by themselves. With the help of colourful images, step-by-step instructions (aimed at children) and clear diagrams children can create all sort of things. From mobiles to soft toys, jewellery to wall art and everything in between, this book will give them plenty of ideas to keep them busy.

What I really like is that the projects in this book often require just a few supplies and many of them can be ‘leftovers’: small scraps of fabric, a stick from the garden, a couple of pieces of used wrapping paper, some bits of wool. This leaves plenty of room for recycling items you would otherwise throw out and it keeps the costs down too (we all know most craft projects don’t hang around forever). The books also leaves a lot of room for variations, so you can easily replace some of the items by alternatives.

The paper beads are very easy to make, just cut a longish triangle out of coloured and/or patterned paper and roll it around a pencil to create your own unique beads. It will be a fantastic way to recycle all the beautiful wrapping paper that stays behind after birthdays or Christmas and it makes a real original piece of jewellery. Each process is carefully explained (it takes 5 steps to create the Paper Bead necklace) so the instructions are very clear and easy to follow.

Although the twins are a little bit too young to try their hands at these fun projects they loved looking at the beautiful images and instructed me to make them a wild thing puppet. I didn’t have any fabrics as beautiful as Katie’s, nor did I have any felt but with a few scraps of fabric and some ribbbon I made them a miniature wild thing puppet to fit their small hands. It took me just 1 hour and I am pretty happy with the end result (and they must be too because they took their puppets to bed with them last night)!

You can find Little Things for Busy Hands (RRP $24.95, 136 pages) in bookstores across Australia as well as at online book retailers.