Origami Farm Book – Review

Origami was always something I enjoyed as a child, fascinated by the different shapes and models you could make just from folding a sheet of paper.  When I received Origami Farm from Cico Books to review, I knew it be something I’d enjoy and exciting to share the joy of the papercraft with my children.

Origami Cico book FarmThe Origami Farm book is packed with 35 different things to make, each set out over a couple of brightly coloured pages in easy to follow instructions – a far cry from the old black and white diagrams I desperately used to attempt to build from library books!

The book is divided into four chapters covering the seasons, with appropriately fitting animals and foods that you would see around the time in each one.  Each model is also given a level of difficulty from one to three.

As well as the glossy pages and beautifully illustrated book, a huge bonus for me was that at the back of the book was a plastic wallet containing 50 individually designed sheets of origami paper ready to create each of the designs within the book.  Each sheet was decorated appropriately to a design in the book to really help bring each model to life.

OrigamiMiss M was very excited looking through the books and couldn’t wait to make some animals. We chose the chick first as this was an easy level one origami model.  I made all the folds required while Miss M looked on in awe – she was truly fascinated by what I was doing and loved the end result.

Origami ChickI then got challenged to make the sheepdog – and yes he took a little folding and unfolding but I got there and felt very proud of my result.

Origami SheepdogThe next request was a pig…

Origami pigAnd then Miss M kindly informed me that the animals were getting hungry and needed some food.  She insisted I made them some broccoli next so they had something to eat (bless her).

So mummy set to work on the broccoli.  And then Miss M and Mister B took the animals and their food over to their wooden railway where they joined the other animals and became part of the play set.

Origami farmThey loved the novelty of them, Miss M in particular was fascinated that I could turn a flat piece of paper into a 3D shape.  When I asked her what she thought of the designs she immediately said with a big grin on her face “they are fun, I love them, can you do some more please mummy?”.  How could I refuse so off I set to work making cows, horses, a butterfly, oh and some asparagus “as the animals really need that to go with their broccoli” says Miss M.

I loved the Origami Farm book, I thought it was totally inspirational in the world of origami, and with the included array of detailed papers to make your designs from this has to be excellent value for money.  Retailing at £14.99 I’d definitely recommend this book.  We have many more designs to make, but the fact that you can make them over and over with your own paper, I think this is a craft book that you would revisit many times.  The children loved playing with the finished models and it has totally inspired them in the art of paper craft.

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions. We are not paid for reviews although we do receive the product to try out and enable us to write the review.

Craft It Up Around the World – Fun Travel Inspired Craft ideas – Book Review

With Miss M being a huge fan of anything craft related, we were really pleased to receive the new Craft It Up – Around the World book by Cico Books.  The chapters are broken down into continents with themed craft ideas for a selection of countries within each continent.  Each craft is beautifully illustrated over a couple of pages in a high quality book.

9781782490388_1With Miss M having just finished her foundation year in school, one of the major topics she covered in the final term was different countries and cultures around the world.  This book gave us lots of talking points and ideas which not only broadened her crafting skills but helped build her knowledge of the world and different countries.

We had a look through and were inspired by many ideas – we have a constantly growing list of ideas that Miss is keen to try from the Greek Paper Crown Wreath, to the Snowman from Finland and the Austrian Paper Dolly Choir.

Craft1The idea that Miss M most wanted to try first was the Coins in the Fountain, an idea inspired by the Trevi Fountain, Rome, Italy.  This was quite close to my heart as I had visiting here with daddy before the children were born, so I dug out some pictures and we had a little talk about Rome and Italy and some of the famous sites you can see there.

RomeThe idea of this craft is to make Salt Dough (using just salt/flour/oil – all of which we had in the house) and then cutting out some coin shapes to represent the coins that you would normally throw into the Trevi Fountain.  These are then painted and can be used for any sort of imaginative play or for number work – a key thing for Miss M right now as she is learning the basics of addition and subtraction.

Salt Dough 2First of all we mixed the ingredients to make the dough, then rolled it out before using a cutter to make the coin shapes.  We then used the blunt end of a small paintbrush to create holes and number designs across the coins.  Once completed these were baked in the oven until hard.  Miss M absolutely loved doing this and was totally enthusiastic eager to be involved at every stage.  She did let me help with the numbers but did instruct me what number to put on each coin!

Salt Dough 1Once the salt dough was baked and cooled we then had the exciting part of painting it.  Miss M decided that she wanted rainbow coloured coins so set to work painting her designs.

salt dough3Once they were finished and dry, I have to admit that they did seem quite impressive.  Miss M had spent a whole day crafting to create them.  They are quite strong and should last with reasonable play.  Miss M intends on using hers for maths and adding up the numbers on the coins.  She has also laid them all out across the floor to make number lines in order and the five times table.

salt dough 4I love these salt dough coins.  I have never tried salt dough before but am impressed with how easy it was to form a dough, and think that it’s a great idea to bake it to create permanent artwork.  Our coins are brightly coloured and Miss M loves using them to practice her numbers and simple maths.  A great craft that I’d never have done without the inspiration from the book, and salt dough is definitely something you can use to make other crafty pieces.

The book Craft It Up – Around the World is full of inspiration from around the world of things to make that your children will love.  We have a list of things to make next and love that there’s an educational aspect too.  With each new project, is a new country, bringing new topics for Miss M to think about and she is always full of questions about the topic we are covering.  We’ve love the Craft Around the World book from Cico Books and it will continue to inspire us for many further months.

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions. We are not paid for reviews although we do receive the product to try out and enable us to write the review.