Kids’ Craft Panel Reviews: More Crafty Kits!

Our fantastic Kids’ Craft Panel are back, and have put another selection of crafty kits to the test! Read on to find out which kits they rated, and how they think others could be improved. Crafting kits make the perfect gift, and it’s nice to have the peace of mind that the gifts are age appropriate, and most importantly – fun to use! 

The Kids’ Craft Panel are the a handful of winners from our Mini Makers competition in 2017, and serve as our crafty ambassadors. Keep your eyes peeled for the Mini Makers competition this year, where we’ll be on the look out for more members! Read more about the current panel on the Hobbycraft blog ».

 

 

Joseph (5)

Rating: 9/10

I liked mixing the plaster together in a jug and pouring it into the shapes. A grown up helped to make sure the plaster was just right before I poured it into the shapes. I liked to paint the shapes when they were dry but wish I had a thinner paintbrush. This would be okay for younger children with help from a grown up, and for older children to do by themselves.

 

 

 

Martin (6)

Rating: 9/10

I’m interested in space and love painting, so I really enjoyed this. It was quite easy to do, but I did get some help from my Mum making the shapes. Afterwards you have a choice of colours to paint them with including a glow in the dark colour. However, the glow in the dark colour didn’t show up very well when I tried it in the dark. But, I still enjoyed it and would like to make more of them. They come with magnets to stick on the back and I’ve put them on our fridge.

 


 

 

Katelan (13)

Rating: 8/10

I loved this product. I found it taught me a new skill that I couldn’t do before! Not only this, but the end product was cute in my opinion, and perfect to clip onto pencil cases. The kit includes everything you need from vibrant cotton to an easy to follow instruction booklet. My top tip is that when you are crocheting make sure to keep the cotton loose – I learnt the hard way! I don’t really have any major dislikes about this product. I am super happy with the end product and definitely recommend this to any one who enjoys crafts like knitting.

 

Mia (11)

Rating: 1/10

I found that with this kit the instructions weren’t clear (at all) and the crotchet hook and wool we were given to work with was to thin/small. It was lucky I had a keen crotcheter to help me. I used the same pattern with thicker wool and a bigger crotchet hook to make a chicken. I don’t think an eight-year-old would be able to complete this kit using the supplies given.

 

 


 

 

Martin (6)

Rating: 10/10

This is so cool! This does four things in one; you get a lightsaber torch which works well, you can shine a picture of the moon on the wall- and the moon looks really bright and clear, you can use the torch as a night writer, which lets you shine the light onto a special piece of plastic and you can see the trail of what you write for a few seconds. It’s really fun! You can also put on a zoetrope. This is something you can spin to watch an animation of the moon or a horse. It doesn’t need much to set it up out of the box. It would be great to take camping. I was especially impressed with the glow-pen writing. I would give this eleven out of ten if I could.”

 

Zachary (6)

Rating: 10/10

I couldn’t believe it was a real torch that looked just like the moon. I liked the fact you could draw your own pictures on the glow board as well as using the stencils.  And I love Star Wars so the light saber was very cool.  I can’t believe how many things one toy can do! The zoetrope was hard to spin so I was a bit sad that didn’t seem to work as well but I really loved this toy! I found it very easy to use by following the instructions Mummy read out and I am only six.  Mummy thinks it may help me when I am older and learning about space at school. Ten out of ten – this was very cool and fun!”

 


 

 

Joseph (5)

244/10

I really liked putting the pins in and pinning the sequins in to the picture.  I liked it because the picture was already there so it looked really good when it was finished.  It was good for children who are 5 because I could do it all by myself. I had to be careful not to drop the pins on the floor. I would give it 244 out of 10! [Note from Mum: I think Joseph really enjoyed this!]

 

 

Mia (11)

Rating: 9/10

I found that this kit was enjoyable, but I feel that a five-year-old would not sit down long enough to complete the kit. I liked the fact it was relatively quick to see results and progress. There was no down-side to this kit.

 

 

 

 

Zachary (6)

Rating: 10/10

I did this on a rainy afternoon and it was really fun. I found it tricky at the start and didn’t think I could do it, but once I had tried a few times it was easy. I was quite sad when it had finished and have asked Mummy to get me the tiger and the penguin one. We have wrapped this one up as a present for my Nanna! There was lots of spare sequins so I can use them on another craft project. I still really love this toy but when I had nearly finished my finger started to hurt a bit from pushing all the pins in so I probably couldn’t do two in one day! I found this very easy after I had tried a few times so this is very good for 6 year olds. I would rate this ten out of ten, as it was very fun and I would like to do more pictures.

 


 

 

Lily (10)

Rating: 6/10

This looked very exciting when I saw it. But it was quite hard and you need pliers to open the jump ring and the ring is not very big really to get the charms on then close it again. I needed adult help. Auntie got them on but couldn’t close it properly. It took a long time to get the ring closed. We had to go on YouTube to find out how to make a slip knot. I think this is very hard to understand how to do many of the things. I was looking forward to making this, but I did get bored. You cannot do this alone. You need at least four hands to wrap the thread around. I think you would need to be at least 13+ to be able to do this. I hope it goes better for others. This took me, my mum and my auntie over two hours to finish. I do love it now it is done though.

 

Mia (11)

Rating: 5/10

I thought this kit was quite tricky because the instructions weren’t very clear, as I have found with all the Make It Real kits I have tried out. The reason I rated it as a five was that, once I found out what the instructions meant, it was quite easy to do. If the persons fingers weren’t in the way of what had to be been done, it would make the whole process easier and quicker. I don’t think it would be suitable for an eight-year-old as I, an eleven-year-old, struggled and needed an adult supervising me who struggled as well.

 


 

  

Martin (6)

Rating: 5/10

I think this play kit is a really good idea, but unfortunately it is too difficult to make the items. It comes with a plastic saw, hammer, foam sheets, plastic nails and instructions. You need to measure all the pieces before cutting them out and I needed help to get everything right. It’s quite fun to cut them out, but it is quite tricky using the saw. I enjoyed making the train with my dad’s help. But even my dad couldn’t make the truck or the ship.  I think this is for 8 years old and up.

[Note from dad: This is very difficult to construct using only the tools provided. The foam compresses and the plastic nails do not penetrate into some of the foam parts in places, and/or cause it to rip. Furthermore, the instructions are unclear and/or incorrect with the schematics and final photo differing. It’s a shame as the concept is sound. I think Martin will enjoy making his own creations from the foam using scissors and glue instead!]

 

Zachary (6)

Rating: 5/10

I enjoyed sawing the shapes out after Mummy helped me measure them.  She drew the lines on so I could get on with the sawing myself.I found it very hard to get the nails in and when I did it didn’t stay together very well so I was sad it looked scruffy.  I even asked Mummy to help and she agreed they didn’t seem to go in very well. It’s very safe so that’s good, I wouldn’t cut myself.  It’s just that the nails won’t go in properly. Five, it would have been really fun to build everything but nothing stayed together very well.

 

Joseph (5)

Rating: 3/10

I like it because I had the hammer and the saw and they were like real tools.  You can actually cut the pretend wood and because of the nails you can hammer them in.  It was a bit tricky and I needed lots of help to measure and cut the wood. It was super tricky to hammer the nails into the side bits so I needed some help. I think an 8 year old boy or girl would be able to do it by themselves but I needed a grown up to help. I would give it a 3 out of 10.

 

 


 

 

Katelan (13)

Rating: 7/10

Getting aqua beads in refill form is cheaper than buying the big pack, however neither boxes included templates. At first I was confused, but without templates it gives you the freedom to create whatever you want. Because the beads were so beautiful I decided to create friendship necklaces. I made these by creative love heart shapes with my favourite colours, then taking a bead out of each one before spraying the shapes with water. Once dried, I used the gap from where I had taken the bead out to thread a chain through – and there you have a beautiful necklace! This product was amazing, and using them is always so satisfying. The best part as it gave you the freedom to experiment and be creative, which isn’t something that I can say about all products. Out of ten this product is a 7 as it wasn’t that challenging however it was still quite fun.”

 

Rosie (13)

Rating: 10/10

I loved making patterns with aquabeads, it was really enjoyable. Great to use the stencils or make your own patterns. The refill pack did not come with white beads – so you had to use a different colour in the stencil patterns. You really do need the Pen to pick up and place the beads as it is so fiddly without it. Great size board to make patterns on and great size water bottle. You also need a box with compartments to keep the beads in – I did not have one and it was difficult to keep the beads in the little packets. I loved these and would give a 10/10 – great fun. You do need to get a starter pack to have everything you need.”

 

Lily (10)

Rating: 10/10

I think you should buy this product. This is not a full pack, so only buy this if you already have the layout tray and the water spray. It was a fun way to spend my morning as I was in bed with scarlet fever and couldn’t go out. So it was really nice to have a tray on my bed and make the animal shapes. It comes with amazing templates, but you can make your own creations using your imagination. You have to wait one hour until they are fully dry before moving the shapes.

 


Look out for the Hobbycraft Mini Makers competition in 2018, where we’ll be on the lookout for more Kids’ Craft Panel members! 

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