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 ISSUE 55  •   30 JULY 2008 
   This issue: sticky


1. Editorial - Taro Gomi
2. Sticky robot shapes
3. The ultimate sticky picture

4. Easy paper mache
5. More sticky ideas
Featured subscriber blog

1. Editorial - Taro Gomi

Long time subscribers will know of my deep respect and admiration of Japanese writer and illustrator Taro Gomi and his wonderful series of creative books for kids. 

These books are not your average colouring/activity books. Gomi draws in a simple and childlike way and encourages 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'. In the picture below Ella is giving the child a 'crying' face.

The books themselves are really thick (400 pages plus) and fantastic value. Scribbles focuses on drawing and colouring, Doodles focuses more on imagination and doodling, and Squiggles looks at drawing and painting. We have the entire series now and I'd have to say that Doodles is my favourite.

All three of these books are on my list of Amazon favourites that you can see on the front page of the Kids Craft Weekly website. Every month I am giving away a copy of the book of your choice from this list. All you have to do is upload a photo to the Kids Craft Weekly group photo pool on Flickr.
I'll be deciding the winner of the July round on August 1 so be quick!

I hope you enjoy the sticky crafts from this newsletter – these would have to be some of our most successful crafts to date. If you try them please let me know how they worked for your family.

Happy crafting and I'll see you next time!

Amber Carvan

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2. Sticky robot shapes

When working with contact it's really important to ensure that young kids can easily peel the backing paper off – otherwise they will get frustrated quickly. The method outlined below is time-consuming but it's worth it because it means they'll always get it right.

The littlies will simply enjoy peeling and sticking randomly while those aged three and up will love to build robots with their shapes. It's worth remembering that different children require different levels of guidance.

You will need

• contrasting colours of sticky contact
round stickers/number stickers for embellishment


1. Cut some strips in different widths from contrasting coloured sticky contact.

2. Fold down the backing paper about half a centimetre along the entire length of each strip. Then cut the strips into different sized squares and rectangles.

3. Provide some cardboard to work on and start building your robot. I started by asking Arky which piece we should use for the body, "the big yellow square or the big red square?".
Then I asked where he thought the legs and arms should go. 

This process continued until the robot began to take shape.

The next time round he built the robot all by himself.

And then another!

When Ella got home from school she wanted to make her own!

3. The ultimate sticky canvas

It was an absolute joy to watch my son enthusiastically work on this craft with no assistance from me. It works really well as a first craft because if you set it up correctly the child cannot fail or become frustrated. It just works so well – I can't believe I didn't think of it sooner. If you have a young child please try this craft, you will not regret it!

You will need

easel or upright board
clear sticky contact
odds and ends


1. Set up an easel or other upright board with a piece of clear contact.

Peg the top and bottom securely and then carefully peel off the paper (removing and replacing the pegs as you go) so that the sticky side is facing outwards.

Collect some odds and ends in a box or bucket. We used wool scraps, paper scraps, foil, pom poms, cellophane, bubble wrap, packing peanuts and other bits and pieces from the bottom of the craft cupboard.

3. Encourage your child to stick objects onto the contact.

It was glorious to see Arky enjoying having complete creative control over his work of art. He carefully placed objects in specific spots and explained to me what he was making. I have never seen him so happy with what he created – I think it shows!

4. Easy paper mache

This activity is a great way to introduce the joy of paper mache to young kids – it's quick, easy and doesn't involve making complex pastes or building tricky wire structures. It is rather sticky, but then – you knew that!

You will need

coloured tissue paper
kid's pvc glue (kid's pvc is simply a regular white glue which is non-toxic)
• food colouring (optional)
a bowl (preferably plastic)
plastic cling wrap
something to sprinkle (such as sequins)


1. Tear up the tissue paper into pieces. You'll need a fair amount of tissue paper, for this bowl we used three large sheets of paper.

2. Make up a watery glue mixture in a jar using equal amounts of white glue and water. Add a drop of food colouring just for fun. Note that my children can't get enough of gender stereotyping – it drives me mad!

3. Then put your plastic bowl on the table (open end down) and cover with cling wrap. 

Paint on a layer of the glue mixture and cover with a layer of tissue paper. Repeat until you're out of tissue paper or until you feel the bowl is going to be thick enough.

5. For extra bling, sprinkle some sequins or stars over the outside of the bowl when you've finished.

6. Allow the bowl to dry – this may take some time (as long as several days in winter or 24 hours in summer). 

When you think your bowl in dry enough to stay in shape on it's own, carefully ease it off the bowl and from the cling wrap. The inside of the bowl will be wet but it too will soon dry after it gets some exposure to the air. 

I didn't allow enough time to show you our latest finished bowls – they're still all wet and gluggy – but here's our bowl from a few years ago, still going strong!

5. More sticky ideas

For the final craft in this issue I was considering making some colourful walking sticks with electrical tape and feathers before it occurred to me that I had seen the idea elsewhere. Sure enough I soon remembered that the lovely Full Circle blog made some lovely wilding sticks and there are such lovely pictures and inctructions I thought it best to redirect you there!

Besides, I ran out of time :)

By happy coincidence, 'sticky' was also a recent theme at the excellent kid's craft blog called Unplug Your Kids. Take a look at their sticky project and follow the links at the bottom of the post to see all the sticky projects from other families.

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6. Featured subscriber blog

Imagine Alyzabeth An... It's Easy If You Try

"This journal began as an attempt to capture the adoption quest for our daughter Alyzabeth An. It has since degenerated into shadowing our everyday family life while we endure The Wait."

To have your blog featured in this section just send in your web address and I'll add you to the list. But be warned, the waiting list is currently very long. 


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