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Article:    Klutz Kits for Kids 

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The idea behind Klutz books and kits is simple: their products are designed for the artistically uninitiated, so they are easy to do. Still, their appeal is wide—kids and  adults of all ages and abilities love these sets!
Klutz products are inspirationalthey generally encourage kids to think outside of the box, while providing ideas that inspire them to draw on their creativity and imagination. They also produce results that suggest the time investment into the craft is far more sophisticated than it really is. These kits facilitate the whole "arts and crafts" process, helping to build children's confidence in their own creativity. 

Klutz books have special meaning in my household. If I tell my kids we have a new book, they'll be rather curious as to what it is. If I tell them we have a new Klutz book, on the other hand, their eyes light up, and they want to see it yesterday. Why? Klutz books often have an interactive component to them, or come with some kind of "accessory". And, they're usually lots of fun. 

Another Klutz "phenomena" occurs after you've given a Klutz book to a child as a gift. Without fail, that child's parents make especially sure to praise you for your choice of gift. These books and kits truly please both children and adults at once. They are clever and unique enough to be remarkable.

What follows are our hand-picked favorite Klutz activity books: 



Top Pick Window Art is a fabulous book/activity set that offers a fun and easy art activity the whole family can enjoy. The premise is simple, but the results are nothing short of fabulous: slip an included plastic sheet over one of the book's pages of templates, use a black squirt-bottle to trace the outline of a design, then fill with more "squirtable" colors. Each designwhether it's a family of colorful bugs, an ice cream sundae, or a collection of underwater creaturestakes about 24 hours to dry. Once set, the design becomes "clingable"ready to display on any window of the house. The results are positively vibrantyour windows (and view) will never look better. 

[Buy Window Art (Klutz) or Window Art (check either link for the best current price) and refills for the Window Art book kit: Klutz Window Art Deluxe Refill Set (10.12 oz) at Amazon.com]



Crafts made with polymer clay have become very popular. There are many artisans making a living making beads, for example, with this easy-to-use clay. Turning kids on to the craft makes a lot of sense. With the polymer clay medium, kids can truly express their creativity and produce little permanent works of art that often serve a purpose. It's a very tangible and satisfying craft. The Incredible Clay Book offers kids both the materials (it includes 8 ounces of quality polymer clay in a range of basic colors) and the instructions to create some delightful crafts. The instructions are clear, and the abundant examples are inspirational. If children are reluctant at all, or stumped, this colorful book will fill them with the motivation and inspiration to get started. The book is bursting with fresh ideas to make critters, flowers, jewelry, and lots of gorgeous beads. Fantastic!

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: The Incredible Clay Book/Includes 8 Clay Colors at Amazon.com]

 

This scrapbook truly is "fabulous". It's a spiralbound keepsake for kids, filled with pages designed to showcase their life—their family tree, favorite things, best friends, pets, and so forth—through photos, drawings, and picture cut-outs. There's a page that frames photos of faces with goofy hairstyles; spaces for collage projects; fill-in-the-blank questionnaires; party pages; "My 20 Year Predictions" page complete with an envelope bound into the book to be used as a time capsule; and even a "Page of Shame" for those unavoidable bad photos. Included are stickers to help kids decorate the pages along with a package of templates to use for cutting photos just right. This is a very creative—and creativity-inspiring—book. 

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: My Fabulous Life in Pictures at Amazon.com]

 

This beautiful, all-in-one book/activity set provides the instructions, supplies, and inspiration for families to make their own greeting cards and stationery! Along with a colorful book, the set includes gorgeous, high-quality paper, a handy measuring grid, folding tool, and reusable card templates. Instructions for projects ranging from basic cards to origami are included. In between, you'll find photo "easels", 3D cards, pop-up cards, little paper boxes, a pretty daisy card, envelopes, and more. Handmade Cards is published by Klutz Press, one of our favorite companies for unique and fun books and activity kits. 

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Handmade Cards: Simple Designs for... at Amazon.com]

 

Fairies: Petal People You Make Yourself is another book-and-supply set for kids ages 9 and up. Supplies to make 12 adorable and intricate little fairies are here, along with a fabulously inspiring little spiral bound book of ideas and instructions. Fairies are made up of assorted (and included) beads and dressed up with faux flower petals (also included). Kids use the colored pencils to add details to the fairies' bead-faces. Fairy bodies consist of beads that are strung together with the set's floral wire. Instructions and full-color photos demonstrate the techniques. Kids can opt to make simple petal people, or they can get involved with more detailed fairies. Interestingly, the author of this book is a thirteen-year-old, Rachel Haab. 

[Buy Fairies : Petal People You Make Yourself Amazon.com]

 

The concept of dressing up, and playing with, paper dolls has been around for a long time, but the delivery is fresh and new. The Fabulous Book of Paper Dolls truly is fabulous. Young children will thoroughly enjoy this easy-to-do activity. Replacing old-fashioned paper tabs are adhesive dots that are re-stickable. As well, perforations replace the need for scissors. The result is a favorite pastime, made accessible to younger children. The book features fantasy backdrops for play time, as well as a cute and handy storage that is built right into the bookit looks like a wardrobe! Very satisfying. See our review.

[Buy The Fabulous Book of Paper Dolls at Amazon.com]

 

Painted Rocks: Tips, Techniques, & Inspiration is a fun set that includes most of the supplies to get started designing things like rock creatures and paperweights in creative ways. Naturally, kids can collect rocks and use their own paints, glue, and wiggly eyes. But what makes this set worth buying is its excellent bookthe tips and suggestions are fantastic and inspiring. They help challenge children to create fantastic rocks they'll be proud of. 

[Buy Painted Rocks : Tips, Techniques, &... at Amazon.com]

 

Paper Flowers (Chicken Socks by Klutz) are truly, truly easy to do, yet gorgeous to look at. The full-color spiral bound book contains directions and creative ideas, plus a set of 72 paper petals in different patterns and colors. No glue or scissors required! This is the perfect little kit to take along on a road trip, and works just as well at home as an ideal rainy day activity.

[Buy Paper Flowers (Make Your Own) at Amazon.com]

 

 



Top Pick Excellent for boosting kids' confidence in drawing, Doodle Cats (as well as Doodle Dogs and Doodle Faces) doesn't only offer kids fantastic guidelines and instructions for drawing cats of all shapes, sizes, and expressions—it comes with a roll of paper to doodle on, and an attached pencil to doodle with. The roll of "doodling" paper is 35 feet long, and can be pulled through the special holder and torn off as desired. Kids doodle right on the writing surface of the book, and flip the book's pages. (Note that left-handed kids won't find the set-up quite so comfortable). The art instruction is superb. It includes a "warm-up" page that offers children practice with basic cat parts. Kids can draw Snoozy (the "World Champion Catnapper"), Mittens (who holds onto a ball of wool), Tortoise Shell Cat (whose body resembles a turtle), and more cats with character! They are even shown how to draw a cat fight and a cat in a hat. The doodle instructions are step-by-step.

This is an exceptionally fun, instructive set that is also very portable. Perhaps most appealing of all its qualities is its ability to boost a child's confidence in drawing. Highly recommended. 

[Buy Doodle Cats Doodle Dogs, or Doodle Faces at Amazon.com]

 

Top Pick For creative kinds, A Book of Artrageous Projects makes a fantastic gift. Filled with art starters and packaged with supplies to get started, this spiral bound book contains inspiration like no other. Even the cover itself can be used for an art projectit's a sheet of copper designed to be used for an embossing activity. Collages, stained glass, painting, and more.

[Buy Book of Artrageous Projects at Amazon.com for approximately $14-20 US]

 

 

Drawbreakers is a fill-in-the-blanks style art book--half-finished drawings fill its pages, and kids are challenged to complete them however they want. 

[Buy Drawbreakers : A Drawing Book That We... at Amazon.com]


This creative art starter is a little spiralbound book with a marker and stamp pad attached. Flip open the book and you'll find ideas and instructions for making thumbprint art! Stamp a large thumbprint and then three little fingerprints in a row, add some details with the marker, and you have a train! Kids can draw a "Purple People Eater", aliens, a rocketship, and so forth, right into the book. Draw Thumb Things an adorable idea, sure to inspire plenty of unique designs.

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Draw Thumb Things (Fine Art at Your... at Amazon.com]

 



Top Pick For girls who love to pamper themselves, The Natural Beauty Book (formerly The Body Book) is an exceptional set. Featuring natural body care tips and recipes, this book also comes with an exciting pack of supplies to get starteda face brush, scented oils, nail brush, pumice stone, nail buffer, and more. This gorgeous full-color spiral-bound book emphasizes good nutrition without being preachy, and offers one satisfying recipe after another. A sugar scrub for your feet or hands contains sugar, oil, and juice from a lemon; a peaches-and-cream hand mask is another all-natural 3-ingredient pleaser; and the strawberry salt rub is a luxurious and fragrant concoction designed to slough off dead skin cells, moisturize, and energize. This is a fantastic set that adults will love too. In the long run, kids will save money by making body care products at home. 

[Buy The Natural Beauty Book (Klutz) at Amazon.com]

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

Related Links

 
  • Go to the Klutz web site.

 

November 2002/Updated February 2005/November 2009
 

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