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The Kids Craft Weekly Creative Gift Guide

Due to popular demand I have put together the following gift guide that features quality products to stimulate your child's creativity.


Contents
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.

Drawing
Painting
Stamping
Beads and Threading
Weaving
Imaginative Play
Stationery and Accessories
Books
DIY Kits
For the Aussies




1. Drawing

Giant Colouring Pencils by Stockmar



Yes, they're expensive but they are so worth it. These beautiful coloured pencils are made by German brand Stockmar and are lead-free and totally non-toxic. Best of all they are larger than your average pencil, triangular-shaped for easy use and the colours are rich and smooth.

This is a perfect gift for children who love to draw and colour-in and who appreciate and value good quality. They won't be disappointed, nor will you.

> Buy the Colouring Giants from Stockmar for $44.49



Rainbow Pencils by Lyra



Lyra are another German brand who make exceptional pencils. These 12 pencils are special 'rainbow' ones that have four colours spun into the lead; red, yellow, blue and green!

They're specifically designed for young kids (over-sized, triangular grip) and are perfect for giving as small gifts to special friends. Package these pencils with a nice wooden pencil sharpener and a novelty notebook and you have a great set of gifts for kids aged 4 and up! Great quality too!

> Buy the Lyra mutlicoloured pencils for $26.49



Beeswax Crayons by Stockmar



Once you've used these Stockmar beeswax crayons you will never go back to the supermarket variety - and nor will your kids! They’re made from 100% all-natural beeswax and, like all quality Stockmar products for children, are oversized and easy to use.

The crayons come in rich beautiful colours and are a delight to draw with. Highly recommended!

> Buy beeswax crayons by Stockmar for $11.49



Drawing Tin by Haba



Drawing tins make great gifts for kids. This cute drawing tin has all the Haba trademark qualities – cute, cute, cute, thoughtfully made and top quality. And did I mention cute?

I'm always prepared to pay a little bit extra for a Haba product because I know that I won't be disappointed. This tin includes seven pencils (each with a different design), a pencil sharpener and a cute bear colouring book.

> Buy the Bear Gang Drawing Tin by Haba for $18.99



2. Painting

Finger painting




These sets are such great fun – but SO messy of course! Just perfect for hot days when the little ones are complaining about having nothing to do. Strip them off, put them in the back yard and set them up for an outdoor painting experience. Alternatively, implement a house rule that you only do finger painting when we go to Grandma's house!


> Buy Finger Painting Party by Alex Toys for $21.00



Watercolour painting



Watercolour painting is such a wonderful thing. The pictures look beautiful, the paint washes out and children (aged about 3 and up) really enjoy the experience.

If you're going to do watercolour painting I strongly recommend that you purchase a good set of paints – not the horrible plastic type that don't grip the paper properly.

This set from Schylling
(pictured left) is a pretty good set for the youngsters. For the ultimate watercolour painting experience indulge in a set of liquid watercolours from Stockmar (pictured right).

> Buy 
Animal Friends Water Color Paint Set by Schylling for $12.00
> Buy 
Stockmar liquid watercolours for $37.49



Rainbow watercolours



These great paint sets come with a bank of watercolour tablets all in a row. When you wet the foam paddle and run it against the paints and then your paper you get the most fabulous coloured stripes.

We bought one of these sets several years ago had so much fun with it – it's especially good for making wrapping paper.

> Buy The Original Rainbow Watercolors for $14.99




Paint rollers



Make all manner of fancy designs with this fabulous set of foam rollers. This set comes with rollers in 11 different patterns including zig zags, waves, dots, hearts, flowers and solid lines.

> Buy this
set of paint rollers for $19.95



Apron



If you're going to be doing any painting you'll be needing one, maybe two of these. Young kids definitely need the long-sleeved variety!

> Buy the Long Sleeve Artist Art Apron by Alex Toys for $9.99



3. Stamping

Stamp Kits by Melissa and Doug



Stamping is great activity for slow afternoons or rainy days. There are heaps of different stamping kits that you can get. I like the Melissa and Doug kits because they are good quality, quite cheap and come in boxes with different 'themes'.


> Browse the range of Melissa and Doug stamp sets
> Buy the Melissa and Doug 
Deluxe Stamp Kit (pictured) for $14.99



Primary Colours Stamp Pad



When you're doing stamping with your kids, in some ways I think that the stamp pad is actually more important than the stamps. First of all you want good strong colours but it's also important to have ink that won't leave your hands stained for days. We've found this Melissa and Doug stamp pad to be pretty good on all these fronts.

> Buy the Melissa and Doug Primary Colors Stamp Pad for $6.99



4. Beads and Threading

Bead Boxes



A bead box is a fabulous investment for a crafty family. Choose one with different compartments (so that the kids can sort the beads) and ensure that the beads are an appropriate size for the age of your kids. Young ones will need big beads with large holes, as they get older the beads can get smaller and smaller.

The Melissa and Doug bead sets (the Flower Power Jewellery Kit is pictured) are perfect for young kids. My only problem with these sets is with how blatantly they are marketed to girls. I'd love to see see a Melissa and Doug bead set for boys, or better still, one that is gender neutral.

> Browse the range of Melissa and Doug bead sets
> Buy the Flower Power Jewellery Kit (pictured) for $8.99



Construction Beads



Threading beads is great fun for all kids but so many boys (and their parents) are deterred from buying bead sets as they are packaged for girls.


It's good to see that Haba have made a bead set to appeal specifically to boys. The set includes 11 construction-themed pieces, one red threading lace, and one wood threading helper. It's a good way for young kids to practice their fine motor skills.

> Buy the 
Contruction beads from Haba for $18.99



Hama Beads



I love Hama beads, not least because whenever I pull them out I know that I'm guaranteed at least  20 minutes of 'mummy-time'. Heaven!

If you're not familiar with them, the Hama bead system consists of tiny plastic coloured tubes that you place onto different shaped pegboards to make interesting designs and patterns. Best of all, once you've finished you can run an iron over the top of the beads and they fuse together, creating a permanent memento.

They're inexpensive and very absorbing for kids aged 4 and up. They come in a variety of packs and in different themes for boys and girls including  pirates and ponies.

> Browse the range of Hama Beads at Amazon



5. Weaving


Weaving looms




I have such fond memories of weaving on a loom when I was a young kid – I always found the rhythmic action very therapeutic and I recall the sense of excitement and accomplishment with every row that I completed.

This classic loom from Brio (pictured above left) is a great first loom for kids aged five and older. The large working space makes weaving easier for little hands and when it's not in use you can fold it up to store it away. I have always found products from Brio to be of terrific quality.

If you don't like the look of this one, have a look at the smaller loom from Alex (pictured above right) which also looks very sturdy.

And it's worth noting that weaving with a loom is a very popular activity with boys as well as girls.


> Buy the Brio loom (pictured left) for $31.99
> Buy the 
Alex loom (pictured right) for $29.95
> Browse the range of weaving looms on Amazon



6. Imaginative Play

Felt mail play set



I love this felt mail play set and wasn't at all surprised to hear that it's been very popular. The set comes with all the pieces necessary for countless hours of play – attaching stamps to postcards, letters and packages, then depositing them into the included mailbox to be picked up and delivered using a drawstring mail bag.

> Buy the Felt Mail Play Set for $48



Folkmanis puppets



I simply can't decide on my favourite Folkmanis puppet. One minute it's the praying mantis, then it's the chicken in the egg or the fantastic caterpillar that turns inside out to reveal a beautiful butterfly! I also love the hermit crab and the hairy tarantula and, well, the list could go on and on.

Needless to say, if you're in the market for a top quality, personality-laden and educational puppet then think Folkmanis.

Browse the range of Folkmanis puppets



7. Stationery and Accessories

Stationery Case from Tatiri



These ever so cute stationery cases from Italian brand Tatiri come in pink or blue and contain 15 colored pencils, a ruler, a pair of scissors, an eraser, and a pencil sharpener. A perfect set for budding young artists. 

> Buy the
Stationery Case from Tatiri for $19.99



Stationery Case from Haba



Another cute stationery case from Haba. This one has seven jumbo coloured pencils, 12 slim coloured pencils, a ruler, pencil sharpener and eraser.

> Buy the
ABC Beetle Stationery Case from Haba for $24.99



Stylish Easel



I'm in love with these fabulous easels.  They're made from three pieces of environmentally friendly SmartWood® and have a durable, non-toxic, water-based finish. The easel assembles and disassembles in minutes with no tools.

> Buy the
Surfin' Kids Easel from Ecotots for $175.99



Chalk Boards



These stylish chalk boards are a great addition to a child's room. The chalk board easily installs with included 3M self adhesive. Available with Green Chalk Tray or Blue Chalk Tray.

> Buy the
p3 chalkboard from NotNeutral for $35.99



8. Books

Taro Gomi Activity Books




Taro Gomi is a renowned Japanese writer and illustrator who has created a number of fantastic story and activity books for kids.

The books – called Doodles, Scribbles and Squiggles – encourage
s kids to think outside of the square and to be creative. One page will invite you to 'fill the trees with birds' another encourages you to 'draw a very small elephant walking across this table', and another aks you to 'design the flag of the country of rabbits'.

The books themselves are really thick (400 pages plus) and printed on uncoated paper – perfect for pencils, markers, paints, pastels, crayons, charcoal, glue and pretty much anything else you can think of.


If you're a creative type yourself you might want to buy two. I actually snuck into my daughter's room one night and completed a couple of the pages! Highly recommended.

> Buy 
Doodles for $12.89
> Buy 
Scribbles for $12.89
> Buy Squiggles for $12.99
> Browse the range of Taro Gomi books




9. DIY Kits

Cookie Kits



Do you know any children who don't enjoy making and eating cookies? Thought not. That's why these cookie kits make such great presents.

Different themes make the concept even more appealling. I like the Princess Magic kit (pictured left) and the Train Kit (pictured right). And hey, if you have the time, why not put together your own cookie kit?

> Buy the Fairy Princess Magic Cookies Kit for Kids for $13.99
> Buy the Great Train Cookie Kit for $15.00



Make-it-yourself wooden rocket kit




I love the look of this wooden rocket kit that was recently featured in Cookie Magazine. The kit includes everything that you need to make your own toy rocket including wooden parts, glue, paint and paintbrush.

A great crafty gift for the little astronaut in your life.

> Buy the Wooden Rocket Kit for $10.00




10. For the Aussies

My fellow Australians. I am aware of the fact that we suffer terribly when it comes to ordering products from overseas. If it's not the exchange rate leaving a sour taste in our collective mouths its the exorbitant shipping fees!

For quality creative gifts I can recommend the following Australian websites:

Send A Toy carry the lovely Djeco range of paints and markers. They also have excellent 
stamp pads and, my favourite, the PINTOY nature stampers.

Peanut Gallery also carry a good selection of Djeco products. They also have beautiful painting smocks (with long sleeves) and they stock a good range of fun craft kits including the rocket kit featured above.

Bee Green stocks a fabulous range of Lyra pencils and Stockmar paints and crayons. They also have heaps of resources for 'waldorf' style crafting. You can find a similar range at Morning Star Crafts.

 
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