Playful: Fun Projects to Make With + For Kids
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It often feels like society is too "plugged in" these days. Some people think that if a product doesn't come with free Wi-Fi, it's not worth having. The good news is that designers like Mirrilee Liddiard are still eager to develop hands-on activities for kids and grown-ups. Playful: Fun Projects to Make With + For Kids is a delightful alternative video games and television. Packed with 26 projects that adults can make with and for their children, this book exercises the imagination and encourages cooperation and creativity.
The founder of Mermagblog.com, Merrilee has contributed to many parenting magazines including Family Fun, Parent & Child, and La Petite. A kid at heart and an artist by trade, Merrilee has illustrated children's picture books and developed toys and games, so she's got her finger on the pulse of what young minds need to grow. The projects in Playful are divided into five categories: Dress Up, Toys, Paper Crafts, Repurposing, and Art. Most of the projects look complicated, but are easy to complete, not to mention inexpensive. Favorite ideas in this book include a tiger piñata, paper puppets, and a cardboard and duct tape dollhouse.
Many of these projects in Playful involve templates, all of which are located in the back of the book. To ensure that each craft can be made more than once, it's best to photocopy each template, adjusting the size as necessary. As Merrilee points out, this might require a trip to the copy store, which isn't doable for busy parents. I would like to see Abrams add an online companion where individual templates could be downloaded and resized easily.
Although Playful is meant to be used, its beautiful photographs of whimsical creations allow it to double as a coffee table book. This book has plenty of variety in terms of crafting techniques, so whether you like to build, stitch, or paint, there is a tutorial that you will enjoy. Best of all, these crafts are easily adaptable. Let your child express her individuality with different colors, accents, and embellishments.
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