“ Brand: ELC / Type: Crafts / Age: 4 Years+ „
Another "must make" buy, and one which we made a few days ago.
The kit comes complete with a pre sewn ballerina doll , complete with the shoes drawn on the feet, lots of stuffing, red felt tipped pen, Eva foam for the bag and hair, fabric and net circles, sequins, ribbon, beads and elastic, templates, double sided adhesive tape and glue.
The instructions are also inside the box, these being quite complex (certainly too complicated for a child) and shown in written and pictorial style.
So, in fact, everything needed to make the doll.
MAKING THE DOLL AND BAG
The instructions tell you step by step how to make the ballerina and the bag, so we started off with the ballerina.
First thing was colouring the shoes, which was really simple, then came the tricky part, stuffing the doll. The hole left at the top of the head is tiny, and so the stuffing has to be broken into tiny pieces and pushed painstakingly through the hole. I reckined that if we did it like this and then glued the hole together, it would take about 2 hours to stuff completely, so I made the hole bigger and then Little Miss was able to stuff it herself although I had to do the honours of making sure the stuffing went to all of the ballerina's extremities!. Once stuffed, it was mum's turn to sew the hole in the head.
The tutu is made using the net and fabric, and again, required alot af adult supervision to make sure it was cut to size. The ballerina's top was made using the template and then glued to the ballerina, but once glued, as I expected, it didn't stick, so I had to sew it on.
The real tricky part came next- the doll's hair. For this, a template had to be cut for the two sides of the hair and for the fringe, and then they had to be stuck in precisely the correct place using the double sided adhesive tape. They did fall off, so we now have a bald ballerina awaiting promised wool hair.
The easiest and most enjoyable bit was decorating the doll's clothes with sequins, which Little Miss achieved with great success, but the ribbons on the ballet shoes needed adult help.. as did the threading of the beads for her necklace.
By the time we came to make the bag, it was obvious that it required adult help cutting out the template and the foam, and that the only part of the activity appropriate for a child was the decorating of the bag (tiny).
I mention the instructions and how to make the doll to point out how complex it is for young children, and would suggest that on the instructions where they state "what you will need", they should add adult to the stated scissors, ruler, pencil, paper clips.
WHO IS IT FOR?
It suggests that it is for children aged 4-8 years although the complexity of the instructions and the making of the ballerina suggests that this would suit the upper age limit more, and still with adult help.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
This can be bought online or from the Early learning centre shop for £8.00
WHAT I THOUGHT
I thnk I have made a rather nice ballerina!
the kit is useful in that it includes everything required to make the doll although we did use our own glue because the glue supplied was in one of those little plastic tubes- not enough of it and very difficult for little hands to squeeze the glue out.
The instructions require an adult to read them, and some of the activities to make the doll are very difficult, especially the stuffing of the doll. It's one of those kits where you have to use alot of your own initiative to make it simpler or be on for hours and become very frustrated. The hair doesn't stay on, and even if you persevere, looks nothing like the hair on the picture because the foam tends to stick out and be difficult to tie.
Littl Miss is 5 and quite used to craft activities but she became bored with the stuffing process and some of the more fiddly bits and really enjoyed only the decorating of the doll.
I am ususlly impressed by ELC toys and kits, but this is one which I won't be recommending based on my own experience. It may be absolutely fine for older children but not for 5 year olds.
Thanks for reading.
Make a ballerina doll with printed face. Includes stuffing, glue, skirt material, felt, foam and elastic, sequins and beads for decoration. Age Range: 4 - 8 years.