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Best Toy for Crafty Kids Ages 9+

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Yuliss is the administrator of Best Family Dogs, a site devoted to family dog health, care and raising dogs with children

Shrink and Link Jewelry Craft Set.

Shrink and Link Jewelry Craft Set.

There is Only One Craft Kit Book!

Shrink & Links Jewelry Set by Kiltz. We love this set! There are lots of craft sets, but there is only one craft kit BOOK!

This craft book contains several beautifully illustrated, kid-friendly pages with step-by-step instructions for each type of craft. The back of the book is about ½ an inch thick and is a built-in, storage area for all the supplies that are included in the set. How convenient that this book includes much of the equipment you need to bring your designs to reality!

Tricky Parts That Challenge Older Children

You will need to help your child use the oven. Your child will need to use the oven under the supervision of a responsible adult. You will need some additional supplies like scissors and permanent felt and colored pencils (be careful not to use watercolor). Water colored, washable supplies will melt and run in the heat and lift from the plastic.

We used my little artist’s fancy pencils – Faber-Castell, just a minimalist pack of 24 colors was enough for these art projects. Faber-Castells are professional grade artist pencils, and provide vivid colors that work well with the plastic Shrink and Link set.

Faber-Castell Professional Grade Artist Colored Pencils

Faber-Castell Professional Grade Artist Colored Pencils

A Craft Set That Offers Endless Variety

My children loved this! The best part was that you can make jewelry, pendants and even small picture frames. The book contains the necklace chain, “S” hooks, and sequence and other supplies you may need to decorate unique creations. There is enough supplies for do-overs. Hence, the storage space at the back of the book to keep your emerging artist organized!

This set does contain very small parts that can be harmful if swallowed. So this is not recommended for young children who still put things in their mouth.

After You Make the Creations

The fun does not stop simply after you make the art. Your child can make picture frames to store precious pictures or play with the little figures as the “S” hooks provide moveable parts. If you are really creative you could even attach adhesive magnet stipes are make them into fridge magnets.

My children used this set over the pandemic shut down and shared their creations as art projects with their teachers over Zoom!

I was surprised by the quality of this set and even more surprised by the bold colors and professional look the Faber-Castell pencils added to these art pieces. Highly recommend this set to friends and family for personal use or gifts. Even better is it can be used and shared more than once – there is plenty of supplies in the box for another day, or for siblings to participate.

My daughter used the Shrink and Link Jewelry Kit to make this mermaid ornament.  She used Faber-Castell pencils to achieve the bold, vibrant colors and make her creation pop!

My daughter used the Shrink and Link Jewelry Kit to make this mermaid ornament. She used Faber-Castell pencils to achieve the bold, vibrant colors and make her creation pop!

Here, one of my daughters is showing the ballerina ornament she made.  You can appreciate the "Shrink"  and see the size of the finished product to scale.

Here, one of my daughters is showing the ballerina ornament she made. You can appreciate the "Shrink" and see the size of the finished product to scale.

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Why Cutting, Coloring And Detail Matters

You might be wondering why is a craft set an educational toy for older children? Don't they just color and draw easily when given supplies?

Yes, there is drawing and than there is creating!

Creating unlocks so much potential in any and all children. Our imaginations and ability to feel emotions are the only intuitive skills that make us uniquely human.

Cutting and coloring work on gross and fine motor coordination and have more benefit than might be obvious. While your child is focused on the fun - practicing with scissors to follow a defined line or shape, they are strengthening their fingers and hand muscles.

This skill translates into other daily tasks you never knew! For example, opening a thermos when you are not there to help. The twisting action to open thermos and jar lids is a practical example of how gross and fine motor hand muscles work. Drawing and creating helps develop those practical skills.

Hand muscle and eye coordination also facilitates tidier writing ability as their skills are honed indirectly. If you think about your own children I'm sure you can find examples of their writing from kindergarten or grade 1 and how it has changed to become much more legible by grade 3 for example.

Let Your Child Learn To STOP! Activate Imagination And Relax

Children also have the best imaginations! Imagination tends to deteriorate as we age and take on more adult responsibilities and stresses. Imagination is an innate gift that all children should be encouraged to maximize! Teachers have told me that over 20 years of a career in education, children's imaginations have never been as limited as they are in recent years. You might wonder, why is this happening? How could children have been more imaginative 20 years ago than they are now?

Although there may be many reasons, the most obvious speculations indicate much more screen time than ever before. Although it is fun and entertaining, it is providing all the imagery easily, not encouraging it passively.

In my own opinion, children also tend to be busier with extra curricular activities than ever before also. Parents run a tight schedule for their children with sports, dance, language, cultural/religious studies and even extra tutoring that happens all outside of school time. In addition to a full academic day many elementary school children are rushed off to 1-2 or 3 after school activities, workshops or courses, and expected to eat, bath and sleep enough to start it all over again the next day.

There seems to be increasing societal pressure to maximize academic achievement while also maximizing physical and social achievement without ever valuing the child's ability to learn to STOP!

Learning how to find balance is more important to us than over doing everything. Letting children be children is important to us. We do not see any benefit in forcing a child to have the busy-ness of an adult schedule. That kind of prioritizing can come with time.

A child needs to learn what they find fun. Without any pressure, they deserve to play freely, as a means to unwind from a rigorous day of academics in a busy class with lots of noise and distraction, all the while learning reading, writing and math. For developing brains, this is quite a task!

Art, crafting and creating give children an outlet to relieve stress and learn what feels good to them, what feels fun. Stimulating the reward pathways of the brain in a positive, healthy way.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2020 Yuliss

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