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Sunday, March 6, 2011

crafting at michael's

I was out and about earlier this week and stopped at Michael's Arts & Crafts to use my 40% off coupon from the newspaper. I found some new craft ideas for the family.  I was surprised at the number of licensed kits they now offer, but was disappointed that most were 6+ or 8+. My little one is two, so I'm sure a kit is probably a little much for him but I appreciate contained crafts that are easy to take on a trip, take to a friend's or to grandma's.

Michael's had several masks in their "dollar" spot for $1$2. I thought this owl mask would be perfect for my friends over at Freckleberry Finds! Markers would probably be easiest to color the mask, but I worry that b/c it's basically a balsa or MDF material that it would bleed a bit. Acrylic paints would cover better, but be slightly more difficult for little kids to paint within the lines. Maybe some sort of paint marker?  

 Michael's also had these adorable little wooden birdhouses! How cute would these be painted and on a dresser or windowsill? I think most of them were in the $2 range (why didn't I take pictures of price tags too??)
 I love this little castle/rook bird house! Paint it pink and add it to a little girl's room! Note: These are too small to be used as actual birdhouses, I think. Each is only a few inches tall.

Small stagecoach birdhouse- this seems like a great painting craft for slightly older kids with better hand/eye coordination. This was around $7 - save this purchase for a 40% off coupon! 

 It was Read America Day (also Dr. Seuss' birthday), so Michael's had a ton of Dr. Seuss themed crafts. There were no crafts for for kids under 3; most were in the 4-6 year old age range. Available were stickers, foam stickers, craft kits, coloring books, and more! I didn't pick anything out, since my kiddo doesn't play well with stickers. Rather, he plays well with stickers but not with stickers AND walls or tables or dogs...

This was one of the few craft kits for kids around 3 years old. It was $1.49 and consisted of a foam monster and three markers. My kiddo loved this (sad? dyspeptic?) monster, but this seemed like a very easy craft to make at home. I'll show pictures tomorrow of a DIY version that has a lot more potential!

I was shocked to see all of the licensed kits Michael's had out now. The kits were all very similar and in the $4-10 price range. This one is a sewing card of Dora cards with holes punched in them to teach basic sewing skills. DIY tip: print out some clip art images onto white cardstock and punch your own holes with a hole punch for a cheap and reusable craft. Print out colorful images, like above, or find blank coloring book-style images online and print those out. Your kiddo can first color the picture and then sew around it- two projects in one! You could number the holes so it's kind of a sew-by-number to include some basic counting skills.

One reason I wasn't so thrilled with these craft kits was the obvious quality. This is a small scrapbook sticker of Dora and friends- how creepy does this monkey look? Its face and eyes were sewn on wrong, so it looks like the monkeys from Outbreak. You might be better off waiting for a coupon on these items.


Michael's is also offering Build-a-Bear kits. This one consisted of small plaster bears to paint. I think it was around $8 and for ages 4+. 


The craft kits all offered similar options for each of the characters. The Peanuts Gang had several sticker projects and plaster kits like the one above, in addition to some suncatchers. I remember making these when I was little! I think the age on this one is 6+, but really as long as you supervise a smaller child tehy can easily color in the suncatcher. 


Last up was Animal Planet kits. This one is a color by numbers painting (reminiscent of those Elvis paintings, remember those??). It comes with the colored pencils and sharpener. What I like about the Animal Planet kits is that you could pair it with a library book, National Geographic article or even the Animal Planet TV shows for a learning opportunity. 

I'll post some simple DIY crafts later this week for the kiddos!

Note: This post is not endorsed or sponsored by Michael's. I was just out shopping and thought I'd post some ideas! 

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