Build It, Fly It, Craft It

For all those kids who run off with the empty toilet paper rolls, the new book Make It, by Jane Bull is for you. Make It is filled with crafts to make with recyclables. It is divided into sections for Paper Crafts, Metal Crafts, Plastic Crafts, and Fabric Crafts. The book is filled with brightly colored photographs of the projects. The photographs inspire you to come up with ideas of your own. The tools and supplies needed to make the crafts are simple and most likely already on hand. All you really need are glue, scissors, tape, and whatever is in the recycle bin. My daughter, C, is currently stockpiling plastic bottles in her room to make into a birdfeeder.

Another book that is great for kids who like to build things is Amazing Leonardo Da Vinci Inventions You Can Build Yourself, by Maxine Anderson. Geared toward an older age group, the projects in this book require adult supervision. Each project is prefaced by a section that describes the historical and scientific basis for the project, and the relationship to Leonardo da Vinci’s sketches and techniques.

My son, H, has an entire plastic bin filled with paper airplanes he has folded. He likes to get them out and throw them, so that they cover his room. They are all different sizes. For inspiration he gets out his Super Simple Paper Airplanes, by Nick Robinson. The illustrations for folding in this book are very detailed, but still some require adult help. The planes range in complexity, so there are planes that you can fold right away and others that require more time.

And in the crafty department, I recently added Making Stuff for Kids, by Victoria Woodcock to our bookshelves. It has crafts for kids as young as three. It also has instructions for teaching kids basic sewing, knitting, cross stitch, appliqué, felting, paper mache, and pompom making. Each chapter is grouped by age. There is also an “Adult” section at the end of the book with such craft projects as a child’s tea dress, apron, and birdhouse. The magnetic button spider caught the eye of the kids right away.

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