Wednesday, April 14, 2021

5 Step Handicrafts for Kids: The Cardboard & Paper Editions - Anna Llimós

I love making things and being creative when I have a little alone time (so....never) but doing arts & crafts with my children tends to bring out my uptight-perfectionist side.  As a result, I try to select crafts that they can do mostly on their own, without a lot of parental input.  I gather supplies, I give them instructions, and then I let the chips fall where they may.   Enter 5 Step Handicrafts for Kids.  Today, I'll be talking about our experience with the Paper and Cardboard Editions. 

Cardboard: 5-Step Handicrafts for Kids

Summary: In five easy steps, you will see how easy it can be to make wonderful objects using only the most commonly available materials and simplest techniques.  In this book we will show you how cardboard can be used to create all kinds of amazing things, from a friendly lion to a useful house-shaped storage box, and many others.

(Image and Summary from

This book was given to me for free in exchange for an honest review.

My Review: Cardboard5-Step Handicrafts for Kids gives easy-to-follow instructions for 14 different creative projects, including: a bee, an art folio, a toadstool, flowers, gift tags, a wristwatch, a decorative box, a lion, a drum, a hand puppet, a notebook, a paraglider, a snake, and a donkey pulling a cart.  For the purposes of this review I selected three projects to try -- the lion, snake, and paraglider.  In all cases, I made sure we had the materials (or some approximation of them) and turned my 8 and 10-year-old daughters loose.  Some of the projects are easier than others, according to the books own star-rating system, but my girls didn't have any problems following the instructions and the end results were surprisingly good!  I was thrilled that this book and a few supplies enabled them to get their craft on.  

When I think of cardboard, I think of the type used in shipping boxes.  I had no idea how many different kinds of cardboard there are in the universe.  The handicrafts in this book called for colored cardboard, corrugated cardboard, colored and corrugated cardboard, egg cartons, fruit storage trays, cards, card stock, cardboard tubes, cardboard hoops, and, of course, cardboard boxes.  I didn't have a lot of that stuff on hand.  Thankfully, creativity is encouraged  (notice my daughter decided to make a tiger instead of a lion) and several of the projects can be tweaked if certain supplies aren't on hand. Overall, I do wish more of the projects had consisted of standard 'cardboard' projects, but I liked the concept of the book, the straightforward instructions, and the ease with which my kids could get their art on. 

My Rating: 3.25 Stars

For the Sensitive Reader:  All clear


Paper: 5-Step Handicrafts for Kids

Summary:  In just five simple steps, children can make a variety of whimsical objects such as a bowl, a basket, and a hand puppet out of paper.   Fourteen projects make clever use of commonly available materials and simple tools, turning paper bags, streamers, and crepe paper into lasting crafts and toys.  Children five years and older will develop fine motor skills, feed their creativity, and discover new uses for everyday objects. 

(Image and Summary from

This book was given to me for free in exchange for an honest review.

My Review:  Paper: 5-Step Handicrafts for Kids gives children the opportunity to create 14 different paper crafts, including a dragon, a classroom diorama, a bowl, an apple, a paper-bag puppet, an elephant, a basket, a bus, a bird, a savanna scene, a trumpet, a butterfly, a pop-up gift card, and night-and-day scene.  For the purposes of this review, I selected three projects to for my kiddos to try -- the classroom diorama, the dragon, and the apple project seen on the front cover.  If I'm being honest, my 8-year-old decided to make the classroom diorama all on her own.  I had shown her the book earlier in the day and then headed out grocery shopping.  When I came back she excitedly showed me her 'classroom,' modeled after her teacher's room last year.  She even went so far as to add to it by creating a lap top, pencil cup, and pencils to go on the desk. I was seriously impressed and thrilled that she drew inspiration from the book and ran with it!   

I assumed that most of the projects in this book would be made out of paper or colored construction paper.  However, similar to the last review, I was unprepared for the different kinds of 'paper' supplies I would need to complete all of the projects, including: colored tissue paper, glossy paper, wrapping paper, cardstock, streamers, crepe paper, paper bags, tissue paper garlands, and a variety of different colored/shaped stickers, as well as a few items I will probably need to order online.  Originally, I was a little frustrated that so many of the paper supplies were hard for me to find.  I am one of those people who likes to follow recipes exactly.  However, my daughter had no problems adapting her project to use what we did have, and not only did it turn out well, but it encouraged her to be creative and problem solve.  Overall, this book encourages kids to embrace their own artistic side in a way that is both easy and fun -- just be prepared to be flexible or acquire a some additional supplies.

My Rating:  3 stars

For the Sensitive Reader:  There is a clown project.  You have been warned. 


Paper and cardboard not your thing?  

No worries.  

There are CLOTHWOODPLASTIC, and CLAY editions, as well.  

Pick your favorite medium and have fun!

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