We love arts and crafts here at The Madhouse but the two big problems are always finding inspiration and finding the time to get everything out and sift through until you find all the materials needed to make a particular project. When we were asked if we'd like to try out one of TinyTigs craft kits, we jumped at the chance. TinyTigs offer a subscription service whereby you can get all the materials and instructions needed for three different projects, delivered to your door once a month.
We received our kit a few weeks ago and the theme for May was ... you guessed it ... the Jubilee. The three projects were making Union Jack bunting, two crowns and a 3d wall-hanging with paper flowers. The materials and instructions for each project come in separate resealable plastic bags so it's really easy to jump in, even with small children, and start getting creative with absolutely no fuss. They even give you a pair of scissors (with rounded-ends).
7-year-old Juliette and 2-year-old Pierre excitedly unpacked everything, one envelope at a time, to see what lovely goodies were hidden in the bags.
They both loved the glittery pipe cleaners and played for a while at being space aliens with sparkly antenna (it's all good for boosting their imaginations so I just let them get on with it !!). They therefore decided that the first project to try would be the Here Comes The Sun 3d wall-hanging.
They both loved the fact that the step-by-step instructions were very clear and simple, so they could do everything by themselves with very little input from me, apart from reading the instructions.
While Juliette carefully coloured in the "Here Comes The Sun" sign ...
Pierre had fun colouring in the offcuts !
The only part that was slightly fiddly and that required my help was pushing the pipecleaners through the tissue paper circles to make the flowers. But I let Juliette bend over the ends so she still counts this as entirely her own work and is very proud of the end result !
Here she is showing off the finished project, which is now proudly displayed on the bedroom wall.
While I'd been helping Juliette put the tissue paper flowers together, Pierre had started investigating the sparkly jewels and glittery stars in the next project bag so it was straight on to the next one !
There are enough materials to make two crowns, which is absolutely ideal if you have more than one child.
They worked really nicely together, sharing out their treasures and sticking them on their crowns. There was even no squabbling over who got the silver crown and who got the plain white one, which I thought was quite incredible !
Juliette, as big sister, loved helping Pierre glue all his odds and ends on so he finished first.
They both absolutely loved their finished crowns, running off to play at Kings & Queens, before coming back to make the final project. When Madhouse Daddy Mike arrived home from work, they both ran downstairs with their crowns on their heads to show him what they'd made !
The final project was to make some very funky and very simple Union Jack bunting. Pierre had been closely watching Juliette doing all the cutting and sticking so he wanted to get involved with learning to cut. Well, he will be going to school in September, so I gave him the offcuts and a pair of scissors and he had great fun "being a big boy" and cutting up little bits of paper !
We finished our bunting just in time to watch The Trooping of the Colour on TV - perfect timing ! The only problem now is that the girls are squabbling because they both want to put it in their rooms ! Luckily, the idea is so simple and only uses a few drinking straws and some pictures printed off on the computer so we will be able to make plenty more, using Union Jacks or whatever theme they like - I was thinking pirates and fairies but Sophie said we could make a Justin Bieber-one too !
That's always the sign of a great crafts project - the kids have totally taken on board the steps needed to create it and are tweaking it to suit their own tastes.
The kits were great fun, created lovely objects and were really good at boosting the kids' confidence because they succeeded with no trouble at all. To do the whole lot in one go, you need a good hour, but you could do one project at a time spread out over several days too.
I absolutely love the idea. The only slightly off-putting thing is the price. Subscriptions cost £11 a month (but can be cancelled at any time), £60 for 6 months or £108 for 12 months. That sounds a lot, but if you think how much you'd pay for a weekly magazine, it probably works out about the same. It's also a huge timesaver and takes all the hassle (and mess) out of arts and crafts because everything you need is in the bags. It is a small family-run business that has been created by crafts-loving mum of two Catherine Wyles, who says that she isn't out to make a fortune, just enough to not have to go back to her office job. As well as receiving the monthly kits, there is a monthly competition for subscribers for Kid of the Month, with the winner getting a surprise in the post, and also a small gift for the childs birthday, which are both nice touches.
star rating : 4.5/5
RRP : £11 a month, £60 for 6 months, £108 for a year
for more information : http://www.tinytigs.co.uk/
Disclosure : We received a TinyTigs pack in order to write an honest review.
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