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I bought a few Mister Maker craft kits from House of Fraser for £2.50 in the January sale Last year when they were half price. One was a set to make Plat pet sticks. When I bought them I thought they may be quite useful for my son to use in his puppet Show. Mister Maker is a presenter of his own art show on CBeebies which is a favourite with my son. We have actually made quite a few things from the show but these have often required me to prepare the night before.
The set is designed to make eight pets: Four cats and four Dogs.
Included in the pack are:
Felt tip Pens
, googly eyes
And PVA glue
The only additional item you need is a Pair of scissors.
How to create your pet?
To create your own pet the first job is to pick, although the sticks do have the same design they are not identical in shape. The next job is to decorate your pet using the felt tip pens. The design is completely in your control; although brown is included also more obscure colours for the fantasy pets such as green and red. Glue on the eyes using the included glue. The ears are made by cutting out the shape out of the felt sheets. The pom poms are a wide mired of colours and can used for tails or noses The pipe cleaners create a colour which you can thread your tag through. If you want to Name your dog it is easier to do so before you put it on your pet.
I gave my son this set for his fourth Birthday. The first time we decided to make a pet we did so with one of his friends that was three at the time. The felt tips were very fine so probably great for accuracy in and older child but for the two boys it meant they really struggled to fill the area without gaps. Mister Maker did suggest spots or stripes but the boys were more like scribble in multi colour all over. They managed to glue they eyes on. The boys both wanted to do dogs but wanted to stick eyes on both side but due to the amount of eyes included these could only be stuck on one side. I let the boys pick out the colour of their dogs ears but I had to cut them out for them and then they managed to stick them on for themselves. The both picked names for the tags and the pipe cleaners were all to long so I needed to cut them for them and neither was capable of adding the collars. They both wanted pom poms for tails. Overall the boys were delighted with the results and were able to make two very unique designs. I have also repeated this activity on a further Occasion with another boy who was nearly five at the time and had a similar experience, I did however offer different felt pens which made them easier to colour.
I find the whole concept of this pack quite confusing. Mister Makers is clearly marketed at preschool Children and while young children I would expect to supervise when taking part in a craft activity I was surprised how much my son and his friends were unable to do by themselves. I would have expected an activity by Mister Maker to be requiring less preparation.
We still have four pets left to complete, despite my son having owned this craft set since his birthday in April. I am sure at some point we will repeat the activity but due to the fact my son's writing is huge he still would not be able to write the collar .I struggled to cut the pipe cleaner so don't expect he will find that any easier.
I think more preparation would have made this kit far easier for a child to complete with minimal help. I also think that while Mister Maker is a marketing tool by the time a child is old enough to complete this on their own they would not want a craft kit with a presenter from CBeebies.
It is now £5.89 on Amazon. I actually think that this is far too much for this kit unless you have a particularly talented preschool child.
This fantastic set as seen on Tv Mister Maker series will encourage children to be creative! Ideal for rainy days and Birthday gifts.