Bright Minds have sent us another batch of delightful goodies to review for the site and this time they’re all about our Crafty Parent theme. I must confess to loving this site as it has so many activities and ideas that have an educational angle.
Annabelle and Isaac received a box of Felt Sweets – a healthy alternative to the chocolate bingeing of April – and my daughter and I received some rather divine slippers.
“Isaac loved the idea of making felt sweets. He was very excited by the sweets on the cover of the box and wanted to make something straight away,” said Annabelle, “He was equally animated when he saw the shapes and colours of the felts and beads.”
The two set out to make something almost immediately and Isaac definitely had fun getting started. However, Annabelle said that although the kit says it’s for ages seven and up, it was clear that Isaac would need a lot of supervision.
“The instruction booklet set out everything in simple steps but it required complex sewing steps to make the shapes at times,” she said, “As the doughnut seemed the most straightforward that’s the one we started with.”
Isaac is our cover model above - showing off his hardwork that looks good enough to eat.
“Isaac was able to complete the doughnut but had a few stabbed fingers using the metal needle when he needed to make holes for the beads,” added Annabelle, “However, he was delighted with the outcome and immediately wanted to make another one.”
The pair then delved into the candies which proved to be a lot more difficult to complete and Annabelle said that she ended up finishing them because Isaac lost interest. They were too fiddly around the edges and she had to do most of the sewing so Isaac’s participation wasn’t as great.
“Overall, I think the felt sweets are a great idea as they certainly got Isaac animated,” said Annabelle, “However, my view would be that if you are looking for your child to entertain themselves with minimal support then the activity kit is for children over nine years.”
The sweets retail for £12.99 and, depending on the age of your child, will either entertain them alone for hours or give you lots of quality time together. The idea is certainly stunning and there are enough options to last you quite some time.
My four year old daughter and I were sent the Make Your Own Animal Slippers set that includes all the pieces you need to make a whacky variety of slippers. I was extremely impressed when I opened the set as it is literally just a pair of lush (and very cuddly) slippers, along with all the other bits and pieces that attach with Velcro.
You get a bunny set with ears, nose and eyes plus a mouse set with ears and noses. You can interchange the ears and noses so you can make a half bunny-half mouse (obviously known as a bouse) or put a bunny on one foot and a mouse on the other.
The process is simple – there are Velcro spots on the slippers and Velcro fastenings on the noses, ears and eyes. You just stick them on however you want. My daughter was ecstatic. Initially I thought the novelty value would wear off in a couple of seconds. Along the lines of “Oh slippers, oh ears, can I watch TV?”
I was pleasantly surprised! She is still playing with them two weeks later and often ambles through for her morning cuddles with the bits already swapped around. These are ideal for her age-group, maybe even younger, in terms of playability. However, the size of the slippers does make them somewhat unwieldy on littler feet. Not something they can do anything about, of course, but they won’t fit her for a good while.
The other down side was the Velcro. It is super strong, which is good, but too strong, which is bad. Within the first ten minutes of swapping bits about the Velcro from one of the ears and eyes stayed behind when the ear was pulled off. It isn’t a nightmare to fix – just a squidge of glue on each reattached the relevant Velcro bits – but not exactly a good thing either. You don’t really want to be glueing and fixing after spending £9.99 on a product.
Despite these flaws, the product is good quality and offers up hours of fun.
Bright Minds have continued to send us products that are perfect for our PlayPennies parents. Both of these sets, while having some minor flaws, are excellent value for money and offer up hours of fabulous fun. They also teach kids all about spatial awareness, sewing skills and help expand their creativity.