Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Creative Little Creatures

    When the Littles get new art supplies it doesn't need to be said that they get very excited- what bares mentioning is how excited I get! When I came across Creative Creatures from Chronicle Books at Opus Framing and Art Supplies a few months ago I knew at some point in time we would have need for some attention holding new supplies and so I bought them and tucked them away for a few months.  Today- with it's continuation of yesterday's fog- was the day to bust it out along with a fresh pack of markers and boy were we not disappointed!

      Kids ( or adults like me) are invited to create their own colourful menagerie from the easy to punch out animal sculptures- it is a bit like a cardboard circus in a box! Illustrated by artist Junzo Terado this petite box contains hours of fun- ten creatures intended to be personalized with pencil crayons or markers and then slotted together for some 3-D interest. I have to admit I loved this project as much as the Littles did- getting lost in the pattern play, shapes and the meditative colouring- the dishes were forgotten while we created our colourful circus!

      What appealed to me as an artist is the modernist sensibility- these characters are sleek and yet playful in their design with each one patterned differently.  What appealed to me as a parent is the ease of this project- all that is required is markers or pencil crayons- no scissors, no glue and very little clean up. I will mention that these cardboard animals are a little delicate- a friend who is a tad younger than our Littles shredded her monkey and quickly moved onto a new activity- I would recommend this is a great project for the over three crowd although the product recommends four and up.

       Another interesting aspect of this art kit is it includes over sized envelopes so a person can mail a fully intact project to a friend. I love the idea that the artist included the idea of sharing in this project! Even better that sharing is encouraged via  good old fashioned envelope and stamp mail- something many children do not get to experience these days. The publisher- Chronicle Books- always puts out fantastic products and I was not surprised to see that they were behind this little box of goodies!

      I give Creative Creatures two enthusiastic thumbs up as do our Littles who are still playing with their cardboard creatures as I sit typing this- even when the colouring is finished there are hours of imaginative fun to be had!


  1. Hi Sharilyn- I might be looking after a 2 year-old for a couple hours this week, and wondered if you can recommend any low-maintenance crafts or activities that I could do with him? I could bring some paper and markers, but don't want to have to buy much stuff (and I know his parents wouldn't expect it). It's been a while since I babysat, and not sure what toddlers that age do any more:) Thanks for any tips - Krista

    1. Hi Krista- a few toddler "safe" materials are key- I would go with either regular crayons or pencil crayons- markers are great but in my experience a lot of two year olds tend to colour things other than the paper- like themselves- which is fine if its your own child! Pencil crayons paired with some really basic plastic stencils are awesome & give a kiddo a new skill to practice - you can find these at dollar stores or Office Depot. Stickers are always fun at that age- go for basic shapes & colours & then you can create all sorts of critters! Another very easy project is cutting images out of old magazines & gluing them down to paper with a non toxic glue stick- sounds simple but kids love this project- you can group items by colour, theam or season! Have fun!!


Please feel free to leave a comment- I love hearing from you!