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This non-fiction book is great for simple ideas to make with young children from 2 years upwards. Obviously the amount of adult help required is dependent on the child's age or ability.
- Contents -
The book begins with a very bright contents page, entitled 'Where to find things'. This is extremely child-friendly in the sense that it has pictures of the activities and objects to make along with the page number and the name of the finished product.
The Introduction is a double page and consists of:
~ A brief introduction from the author, Nellie Shepherd.
~ A list of the basic equipment that will be required: card, paper, paint, felt-tip pens, PVA glue, scissors, stapler, tape, pots, paintbrushes, pipe cleaners, play dough, straws and fabric.
~ A very small section with a note to adults about supervising children with scissors etc. As if we didn't know that already!!
Following on from this there are 11 art / crafty activities for children to make:
~ Ship Shape - A basic sailing ship using sponges, scourers and straws.
~ Posh pegs - Using wooden pegs and glitter, great necklaces and crowns can be created.
~ Wooden dolls.
~ Papier mache hot-air balloons.
~ King of the kitchen - making an card apron and crown and decorate.
~ Chickpea shaker - using a plastic cup, dried chickpeas, tape, card, paint etc.
~ Flowers Fantastic - plastic spoons along with tissue paper in a decorated plastic bowl or cup as well as plasticine or play dough to ensure that they stand up.
~ Paper plate doll which can be adapted in to any figure that the children wish to make.
~ Transparent submarine using a plastic bottle and plate, plastic knives, cellophane, a straw and coloured tape.
~ Wishing tree using twigs, silver foil, play dough, sweets and cellophane or sweet wrappers.
The book ends with a double page offering ideas from the author which cover giving encouragement, making choices, displaying and most of all having fun!
- Style and Format -
Each activity is given 2 double page spreads:
The first page shows pictures of the finished product with labels / arrows to some of the main items that are used to make it.
The second page for each activity is entitled 'You can use...' and it shows a photo of the items needed with writing next to each item.
The third page, 'How to make it!' has photographs of the different steps involved along with writing that accompanies each photograph.
The fourth page show different photographs of what children have actually made. This is really good and differs from so many 'perfect' looking art books as you can see a resemblance to the photos on the first page but are so clearly made by children. It also shows photographs of the children playing with some of the objects they have made such as the submarine and the boat.
There are also quotes relating to the objects they have made from some of the children.
Sometimes there is a 'tot tip' - e.g. 'This makes a mega mess! Don't forget to put down lots of newspaper'.
Some of the pages have a 'Did you know?' section, e.g. 'Bees make honey to feed themselves during the winter. As they make more honey than they need, people eat the honey and artists use it as glue!'
- Other books by Nellie Shepherd -
~ My animal art class
~ My puppet art class
~ My Christmas art class
~ My party art class
~ My picture art class
- Overall -
This is by far the most child-friendly art based book that I have seen over recent months. So many books have great ideas but they show such perfect, adult-made end products that sometimes children are a little disappointed that their object doesn't look quite as neat or precise as the ones depicted in the book. This is certainly not the case with this book which shows photographs of children proudly showing their own work!
In fact on the back of the book one of the quotes from the author is, ' Your finished project doesn't have to look like ours - it's individual, just like you!'
It is brightly coloured, well set out and very easy to use. The activities look quite basic but can be adapted to suit the age and maturity of the child from anything from 2 years upwards although I don't think it would appeal as much to 7+ children.
Another good factor is that most of the items needed aren't expensive and if you have children in the house, I'm sure that you will have basic paints, felt-tip pens, glue etc.
- Price -
This is published by Dorling Kindersley, ISBN: 1-4053-0080-9.
My hardcover has £6.99 on the back but amazon are selling used and new copies from just 1p!
Well worth a trip to the library during the long summer holidays if you are looking for a little bit of inspiration to keep little ones happy and creative!