Monday, 1 July 2013

#ReadItMD13 Theme Week - "Getting Crafty with Children's Make and Activity Books"

For this week's #ReadItMD13 Theme Week we'll be taking a look at various aspects of making and crafting in conjunction with children's books. To kick off though we'll take a look at some of the making and crafting books we've enjoyed, as well as some of the ones that have slipped through our net.

For us, the best make-and-do books are the ones that offer feasible (very important that) and engaging makes, that perhaps stretch things a little beyond just sticking two yoghurt pots together and calling it a butterfly.

Last Christmas we were very impressed with Lion Hudson's range of christmas-themed crafting books (yes I know it's the middle of the summer but it's never too early to start your christmas shopping and making, haha). With all sorts of activities ranging from simple christmas card makes, through to some quite spectacular Rudolf Red Nose truffles (which we make even when it's not Christmas because they're so yummy).

(There is a slightly less girlishly pink one available too)
DK are pretty much THE go-to for make books. They produce absolutely stunning books with clear diagrams and photography, and a whole host of brilliant ideas.

The Fantastic Rainy Day Book (Dorling Kindersley)
"The Fantastic Rainy Day Book" is probably quite hard to get hold of but this is definitely a book chock full of brilliant makes and ideas for art.

Make a hat!
DK also publish a range of Mr Maker themed books (and everyone loves Mr Maker...don't they? What do you mean "We would if he ever let the kids on his show have more of a go!")

Mr Maker - Let's Make It! (Dorling Kindersley)
Children's Making and Crafting books come in all shapes and sizes, covering a massively diverse range of subjects. We particularly like Origami at home, and this is one of the best Origami books we've seen...

Easy Origami by John Montroll 
 Unlike most, it's very easy to follow and you can genuinely make all of the models in the book without getting your fingers tangled. Origami is a really easy and satisfying activity and the end results can be really beautiful.

Last but not least we had to mention Usborne's amazing crafting and making range.

"Summer Things to Make and Do" from Usborne Activities. Perfect for the British summer!
We've been taking a look at this one recently and it's absolutely perfect for the British summer - when you need to find lots of things to do indoors because it's nearly always raining (actually it's been boiling hot for most of the weekend but even so, you can drag a crafting mat out into the garden and do all your summer making in the beautiful sunshine too!). With lots of stickers for your crafting projects (vitally important to a busy 5 year old like Charlotte), it's full of fantastic ideas to get your summer started properly.

These few books we've covered just offer an insight into a tiny tiny fraction of the huge market for children's activity, make and crafting books. If you've got a favourite we haven't covered, why not leave a comment below and tell us which book you like to dip into for makes and crafting!