I have two young girls whom I’m constantly trying to get away from screens. And the last thing I want to do is buy more expensive plastic toys that will be forgotten in less than a week. Over the past year, I’ve discovered a few really fun, crafty kits to keep the kids occupied, and they love them and I love them even more — I find them very therapeutic to do. Check these out:
1. Felt Sewing Kits
My interest with sewing felt started with this kit I found on Book Depository:
Above: sew mini treats, $21.27 at BOOK DEPOSITORY.
Everything you need to create these adorable felt food is in the box: various colours of felt, black felt eyes, pink felt cheeks, matching coloured thread, felt sewing needles, and cut out templates to create the shapes needed for these treats. I started with bread because it looked simple. I soon learned they are all simple to do and really satisfying to complete!
Above: cutting out felt pieces and assembling the faces.
Above: A basket of all the food I made with the kids!
Above: My 8-year-old’s first attempt!
I got so obsessed with sewing felt, I bought this kit as well:
Above: Pouches Sewing and Craft Kit, $20.34 from AMAZON.SG.
Above: i made this yeti pouch for my kid to bring to school. I added a rope strap so she can sling it around her neck during recess.
The above Stitch and Style Pouches are a bit harder to do for kids. If you want something really easy to start them off with, try this kit:
Above: KLUTZ Jr. My Simple Sewing Craft Kit, $17.12 at AMAZON.SG.
Above: I’ve even taken to sewing simple felt toys for the kids based on designs they love (like this t-shirt!).
2. Shrink Paper
I came across this box on the shelves of The Better Toy Store at Paragon. These are “paper” templates that you colour in with colour pencils, cut out, then pop in the oven for 5 minutes. Under heat, the paper shrinks and hardens, and these become little trinkets that are assembled into a charm bracelet or pendant necklace.
Above: Djeco Magic Plastic Craft Set: The Fawn & The Bird, $19.90 from THEBETTERTOYSTORE.COM.
Check out this video on how it works:
Have you heard of shrink plastic? We bought a Djeco jewellery kit from The Better Toy Store to try it out ourselves. And it's so fun!..#shotoniPhoneX#enlight#videoleap
Posted by Nylon Singapore on Wednesday, 21 February 2018
The Djeco brand that this kit is from has many designs to choose from. If you find this too pricey or want blank sheets for your own drawings, you can buy sheets of shrink paper from Daiso. They sell them in various sizes.
3. Air-Dry Clay
I loved the Klutz sewing kits so much, I went to check out all the other kits from the brand, and found this one:
Above: Klutz mini Bake Shop, $20.16 from AMAZON.SG.
Above: I made a sprinkle donut and chocolate chip cookie to start off with.
This was my first time trying air-dry clay. It’s super easy to mould things with, but you need to work fast because it dries and sets within 30 minutes. I was so eager to create more things, I went on Amazon (again) and bought a set of colours:
Above: 24 Colours Air Dry Clay, $21.51 from AMAZON.SG.
And created these:
Above: No guessing who these guys are!
Above: this Air-dry clay rainbow was made by my almost 4-year-old!
Air-dry clay isn’t as easy to mould as Play-Doh, so I’d say the above is far from my best work. While these guys will dry and not crack and stay in shape, Play-Doh creations will crumble after around three days (if you’re lucky and the kids don’t squash it before then).
Above: My Play-Doh Kermit with legs that are too short. But I got his face and body right. I’ll be attempting an air-dry clay version of this soon.
4. Wool Felting
I had no idea what wool felting was until I came across this account and this video:
Amazing, right?! Then I found this kit, also from Klutz:
Above: Klutz felted friends, $24.01 from AMAZON.SG.
Above: My very-first attempt at wool felting! I made a rabbit for the kids!
Above: Daiso sells wool felting bundles as well, with the colours you need to create the picture on the packaging. tools not included.
Word of advice: wool felting is probably not for kids because it involves stabbing loose wool fibres repeatedly with a thickish needle. But for adults, it’s great for releasing all that pent up energy and anger, if you have any.
Here’s something that a 3-year-old can do (but with adult guidance, of course): Puffy stickers!!! This kit includes sticker designs (pre-coloured and ready for colouring), sticker backings, foam centres, and the “machine” for clamping down all the pieces together to create the puffy sticker. Like all the kits above, it’s really fun to use.
Above: Klutz make your own puffy stickers, $17.20 from AMAZON.SG.