Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The New Jumbo Book of Easy Crafts

The New Jumbo Book of Easy Crafts

Judy Ann Sadler
Illustrator:  Caroline Price 
Nonfiction Craft Book
For ages 5 to 7
Kids Can Press, 2009   ISBN: 978-1554532391

Many children love to make things with their hands. They paint rocks, use boxes to build castles and doll houses, and turn beads and string into colorful pieces of jewelry. Sometimes, though the hands are eager to make something, the head has no idea what that something should be.

This book is just what young crafters need when they need some ideas for easy-to-make crafts. In all there are more than one hundred and fifty projects to try, and the supplies that are needed to make the projects can be found either at home, outdoors, or at craft or hardware stores.

The projects are divided into four sections. In the first section, Imagine and Create, children will learn to create pieces of art. In Wear and Use they will find out how to make costumes and jewelry. The Make and Play category shows children how to make “toys, puppets and musical instruments,” and finally the Decorate and Celebrate chapter shows crafters how to create ornaments, cards, and other things that can be used to make celebrations “extra festive.”

The first project is a recipe for cooked play dough, crafting clay that can be used again and again. To make the play dough all crafters will need is flour, salt, cream of tartar, water, cooking oil and food coloring. Once it has been made, the dough will keep for months. If children want to make objects that will harden they will also find a recipe for uncooked dough that will harden after a few weeks. Children can makes beads, ornaments, fridge magnets with this dough.

Other projects in the Imagine and Create section will show children how to create artworks using paint, colors, paper, pompoms, beads, cardboard and pipe cleaners.

For children who like to dress up and put on little plays, the second section in the book will offer up all kinds of interesting project ideas. They will see how to make animal ears and antenna, frog eyes, a crown and other headgear, baskets of various kinds, a magic wand and more.

On cold and wet weather days, children might like to dip into the third section, where they will learn how to make all kinds of toys. They will have the pleasure of making the toys themselves and then they can play with them. Projects here include a dollhouse, dolls of various kinds, a parachute, puppets, various games, puzzles, and musical instruments.

In the last section of the book children will find out how to make wonderful accessories that will make parties and celebrations truly special. They will see how to decorate eggs, make flowers, baskets, paperchains, ornaments and lanterns. They will also learn how to make cards, favors, and other party items.

For every project in this book children are given a list of the things that they will need to complete the project, carefully written instructions with how-to illustrations, and a picture of the finished project.

This book would make a great gift for children who are artistically inclined.