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KLUTZ CHICKEN SOCKS : THE SUPER SCISSORS BOOK
COST - £5.99 from Waterstones
AVAILABILITY - Widely available from all good book shops, or available online direct from www.klutz.com
CHICKEN SOCKS - Chicken Socks is a the junior collection of Klutz books. Like all Klutz books they cover a variety of topics usually with some educational value. All Klutz books I find are easy to read and follow, and children should be able to do them alone with minimal adult input. They encourage children to read and follow instructions whilst helping to improve concentration and fine motor skills. (i.e. Holding a pencil, using scissors etc.)
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My daughter just loves Klutz books, she finds them utterly brilliant, as do I. I can hand her one and guarantee that she will be suitably occupied for at least two hours. With some Klutz books my daughter will keep on going until she has completed the whole book where as with other ones she will go back to them and complete them a bit at a time. With each book you usually get everything you require and little additional materials are required if any. However I find if added materials are needed they are usually easily found around the house, for eg. a toilet roll tube or some paper.
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THE SUPER SCISSORS BOOK
CONTENTS - It comes with two pairs of safety scisssors, one with a straight cutting blade and one with a zig-zag cutting blade. It also comes with over 100 bits of easy to peal double-sided tape. It is accompanied by a book with over "44 pages of cut 'em up crafts".
ACTIVITIES - This book has a super wide range of activities which all involve your child learning to use scissors. It starts off with a simple activity, just cutting a straight and wiggly line. It then progresses page by page with the difficulty level gradually increasing. I will give you an example of activities found in the book one from each level.
EASY - A large giraffe and horse head is printed in brightly coloured paper. Your child can choose to cut out one or both, then tape or glue the head to a gift-wrap tube to make a hop -a-long horse or giraffe.
VERDICT - My daughter absoloutely loved doing this. The cutting was very simple and it did not take her long. A quick activity with a fun and playable outcome. My daughter spent half the day playing with this book and the other half running around on her hop-a-long horse!!
MEDIUM - You are faced with two brightly coloured masks to choose from. Your child has to cut one or both out, then fold along the centre to cut out the eyes, then finally stick some string at either side with some tape.
VERDICT - The instructions are incredibly easy to follow and come with bright step-by-step pictures as well as words. My daughter really enjoyed this but did find cutting the eyes out a little bit tricky. However once she had finished she was beaming with her accomplishment!
HARD - There are lots of small brightly coloured pet parts which you have to cut out and tape together to make either well known animals or mix and match to make your own invention!
VERDICT - This was a lot harder and she did need a little bit of help for the fiddly bits. However she persevered and was delighted to make lots of crazy looking never-before-seen animals! She even took some into her nursery so they could see her hard work!
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In conclusion I would definately recommend this or any Klutz book, they are simply brilliant. My daughter was four when she completed this book, and nearly ready to go to school. I would say the Chicken Socks books are suitable for pre-school to age six, but perhaps this book would be better for four plus because of the cutting involved. They are not the cheapest books to buy but are well worth spending the money as children will love them. They have great educational value and get your child accustomed to attempting and completing tasks.
You've got to love a book that comes with 2 pairs of scissors attached to it and the helpful advice that "these scissors will also cut fabric, hair or your favorite (sic) set of pearls, so it's best to keep an eye on your kids while they're cutting".
As the title would suggest this is a book that is all about cutting, and is aimed at children 4 and above. So far in using this book no fabric or hair has been harmed, and come to think of it I don't own pearls, but a great deal of fun has been had by all involved, and yes, I have been keeping an eye - all offspring's crowning glory and clothes intact thus far!
What I like about the Klutz Chicken Socks series is that they come with everything you need to do the suggested activities. Unlike some other craft books there is no hunting around the house for random objects, even the small amount of sellotape needed for some of the projects in this book is included in easily torn-off sections, hooray!
Each page provides different opportunities to use the straight and wavy scissors that were the subject of the warning. It is a ring bound book so you can easily tear out each page when needed to do each activity. The scissors are quite good quality and so far have lasted well despite quite frequent use in what is becoming an exceptionally rainy typically British school holiday.
Some of the activities are obvious cutting papercraft, such as making a paper chain, or a curly snake, but others are more original - the flying genie dog on a carpet springs to mind!
The instructions are very clear, dotted lines must be cut, and white thick lines folded to make the various items. My five year old enjoyed making a tiger mask and her own flower pot, some finger puppets and some 3-D animals. What is great about the activities is that they involve making an item that can be played with after decoration or used to decorate a bedroom. My child greatly enjoyed putting on their own animal themed puppet show with her creation. Obviously the scissors can be used after the book is finished for your own projects.
In my opinion the difficulty level of this book is spot on for the age range for which this book is intended - 4 plus. Younger children will struggle to manipulate the scissors and will lack the fine motor skills for some of the more tricky cutting.
I think this book is excellent, for £5.99 you are getting quite a lot of hands-on craft activity that, as a parent, I have found I can supervise rather than do for her, a common fault with poorer designed children's art sets.
The different projects are printed on nice quality paper and are all very visually appealing and it doesn't take too long to complete each task. There are 44 pages in all and about 18 different projects of increasing difficulty.
This book is a fantastic present idea and also would be perfect for a long plane journey or to fill some of the rainy afternoons that seem to be a regular feature of non-school days in the UK. Highly recommended.
Details from Amazon:
Publisher: Klutz Chicken Socks; Spi edition (24 April 2006)
Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 17.8 x 2.6 cm
In all, there are 13 projects in The Super Scissors Book with fully illustrated, crystal-clear instructions so simple even a parent could follow them. Toss in two pairs of brightly colored, kid-friendly scissors (one straight-edged, one snaggletooth) and 140 pieces of pre-cut tape, and youve got a craft book thats a cut above the rest.