First a little disclaimer. Jennifer is my friend, I have loved reading her blog for years, two years ago I won some gorgeous wool in a giveaway on her blog and I have purchased some of her lovely creations from her etsy shop to gift to family and friends for Christmas and Hanukkah gifts. So when Jennifer asked me if I'd like to review her new book in a blog tour I jumped at the chance. I was sure it would be filled with fun and creative ideas to make with kiddos....
But then I received this book and saw that it had 75 fun crafts and projects (yes 75!), each illustrated with numerous step-by-step color photographs and using common materials we have on hand and divided into chapters for seasonal making, game playing, gift giving, party celebrating and more!
Immediately, my kiddos were inspired to grab what we had on hand and create Button Botanicals on page 71. More on that later....
This book is great for so many reasons.
First, every single project is accompanied by so many photos that you don't even have to read (heck, you don't even have to know how to read) the instructions to get the urge to begin making. The moment this book arrived at my house my kiddos began flipping through it's 240 pages and rummaging through our craft supplies. What's so wonderful about this book is that although Jennifer provides clear and easy to follow step-by-step instructions the photos provide so much inspiration to get the creative juices flowing that kiddos can easily put their own spin on the projects. This is a must at my house - my kiddos love to be inspired to make but they often rebel if they feel that they have to follow precise instructions.
Second, I love that most of the projects call for craft materials that most people already have on hand. You can complete so many of these projects with just paper, paints, fabric scraps, glue, buttons, foil, toilet paper tubes, popsicle sticks and yarn. We always have these items lying around the house but need ideas to use them in new and creative ways and this book does just that. When I was reading this book I often had to stop and say, "Why didn't I think of that?" or "So that's how you make a Kaleidoscope out of two toilet paper tubes!"
This brings me to my third point. This book is not just for kiddos - it's also great for grown people. I loved learning about how to make dyed t-shirts, easy play dough, tissue paper sun catchers, marbled paper, and button barrettes.
Around here we love collecting buttons and coming up with new, fun ways to create with them. So button botanicals was the first project we tackled. We already had these canvas boards, some poster paint, buttons and glue so off we went.
Even the just turned twelve year old boy was inspired and had a blast making. And he gifted his creation to his mama! Then he told me he wants to make watercolor cards (page 148) next. I just love what a great book can do!
Teach Yourself Visually Crafting with Kids is such a wonderful book to add to your making library. And yes, Jennifer is providing a signed copy of this fabulous book to one of you. Plus I will be sending my promo copy to another lucky winner because I purchased a copy of my own - that's two chances to win! Please leave a comment on this post between now and Monday night. Don't forget to leave your email if it's not linked to your profile. I'll announce the winners on Tuesday. Good luck!
Here's the blog tour schedule for more reviews, interviews and chances to win:
Tuesday, April 5 (release date) - JCasa *handmade
Wednesday, April 6 - The Crafty Crow
Thursday, April 7 - Sparkle Power
Monday, April 11 - WhipUp
Wednesday, April 13 - A Stitch in Dye
Friday, April 15 - Smile and Wave
Monday, April 18 - Elsie Marley
Wednesday, April 20 - Maya*Made
Friday, April 22 - Stitches in Play
Tuesday, April 26 - Aesthetic Outburst
Thursday, April 28 - Artsy Crafty Babe