HAMA Beads – Crafty Activity Fun – Review

With a daughter who is a huge craft fan, it’s good to try a variety of activities and one we were keen to try is HAMA beadsDKL Marketing kindly sent us the giant set comprising of 6000 beads with endless opportunities of things to make, the limit is your imagination!

HAMAThe HAMA beads box was big and immediately got a thumbs up from Miss M.  It looked very excited, lots of beads, a good variety of things to make, and a craft toy that would give lots of value due to the amount of things to do.

Miss M couldn’t wait to get stuck in and make a crocodile for her brother who had chosen that as his favourite picture from the front of the box.

The HAMA beads are simple to place on the peg boards, just following the designs in the pictures.  Included in this set are three peg boards, a crocodile shape, rabbit and a basic square which gives you the freedom to create anything you want.  Having lots of simple designs is better for younger children so that they don’t get bored doing a large piece and also get to see the finished result sooner.  Miss M is 5 yrs old and did require some guidance on starting off and I also needed to keep check on her during to make sure she wasn’t going off track with the design she was trying to make.  It is a lovely activity that she can sit and do independently though and she enjoyed the challenge of trying to complete each one.

HAMA 2Once all the beads are in place on a peg board, the magic really happens.  After covering it in some special paper you can iron the creation which melts the beads.  This bonds them together allowing you to remove the finished piece from the board.

HAMA3We’ve so far copied designs from the box and picture sheet included but we have many ideas to make other things.  With such a vast number of beads in the box, there are endless possibilities and you can have ago at anything.  Miss M would like us to try a cat and we are also going to do her initials.

One thing that did slightly disappoint was that although we had a good range of colours in the box, we didn’t have a yellow, or a fleshy pink, and practically all the suggested designs contains one of these colours.  Miss M in particular found this very frustrating initially but I explained that she could do them in any colour she wanted and just to swap a colour in the picture for one of her choice.

HAMA5This is a great activity that can be done throughout the year – great for those dull, rainy days when you are stuck indoors!  It also has plenty of beads so will last a long time depending on the rate your child works through them, but can easily be packed away between designs and got out again at a later date.  It is also something that can grow with your child as they go from copying designs to creating their own.

We’d recommend HAMA beads as a great crafting activity that helps with fine motor skills, creativity and encourages concentration.

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.

Mister B’s Street Scene Collage #Art #Craft

This week at Mister B’s craft group at the local museum we did collage, one of his favourite things.  There’s nothing more he likes than getting a glue stick and sticking things on.  His interest in crafts has really grown over the last few months and he takes an active interest in the things we make each week, more so if a glue stick is involved!  The theme this week was to create a street scene with inspiration from a post war model of the city’s civic centre area that was displayed in one of the museum’s galleries.

City map museum2We cut out some building shapes out which we stuck onto our background.  Then used some cut up shapes from patterned papers to add interest to our design.  Once everyone had finished we lined up all the pieces along the floor to create a long scene of buildings and trees and stood back to admire all the children’s pieces of art side by side.

City map museum1

Mister B really enjoyed this weeks project and put lots of enthusiasm into his work.  Another successful week of artwork at the museum  – we look forward to going again soon.

Dinosaur crafty fun with clay!!

The theme at Mister B’s museum group this week was dinosaurs, which he was rather excited about.  We started by looked at some old dinosaur fossils and feeling their textures before getting on to the messy task of clay!

Unfortunately Mister B prefered to prod the ball of clay with the plastic crafting tools rather than get his fingers stuck in and then ordered mummy do create the body of his dinosaur  although he did eventually join in adding bits along the back and to the tail.  Then he used his tools to add some texture to the side of the dinosaur.

We were given a black and white picture of a dinosaur head which Mister B loved colouring in and after sticking it to a lollipop stick we poked it into the neck of the dinosaur to finish it off.


While we left the dinosaurs to dry we played with some dinosaur themed toys.  Mister B really enjoyed the dinosaur puzzles which he completed all on his own.  He’s never had much interest in puzzles up to now but seems to have suddenly found a real fondness for them which is great for his hand eye coordination and we have plenty at home for him to practice with.

Another fun filled week at the museum over and one happy little boy proudly carrying his finished masterpiece out the door of the museum and down the road!!

Mister B’s crafty sailing boat!

At Mister B’s art group at the local museum this week the theme was boats.  We walked around the exhibition displaying various ships and vessels from years gone by and I have to say Mister B loved it.  He was pointing out all the flags and other parts of the ships he recognised and even found a huge boat that he decided was a pirate ship!!

Boat museum craft kids sticking

We then went back to the crafty room to make a boat picture make up of coloured paper stuck on to a boat outline.  He thoroughly loved getting his fingers mucky with the glue stick and pressing down the paper shapes.  And then all the children in the group proudly walked around the ground floor of the museum showing off their boats – so cute!!.  I’m so pleased that Mister B’s crafty side is coming out as he wasn’t so keen at first unlike his big sister who is the crafting queen of the house!!

Mister Maker – Watch & Make DVD – Review

When we received the latest Mister Maker DVD from Abbey Home Media to review, Miss M’s eyes lit up – she loves making things and craft – and always loves watching Mister Maker create his masterpieces with gloopy glue, googly eyes and pom pom’s. 

Mister MakerUpon opening the box containing the DVD, we also found a craft kit to make Twiggy the giraffe – this contained lots of pom poms, a glue stick, googly eyes and sticky felt circles amongst other bits so Miss M was in her element and couldn’t wait to start making.  I suggested she watched the DVD first and we would do the crafting later.

The DVD lasts for approx 95 minutes and contains five episodes with 20 different makes – lots of great ideas to inspire little ones on things to do when the craft box comes out!!

Miss M loved it and at the end of the DVD she jumped up and said “Can we make Twiggy now?”.  I kindly obliged and we got to work on getting crafty.  Miss M was very excited and wanted me to read out the step by step instructions for her to follow.  To be honest I thought it would take 5-10 minutes and it would be over but we actually sat there working on Twiggy for a good 40-45 minutes as we carefully glued the bits together – Miss M did find it a little tricky and required some assistance but insisted I had as little involvement as possible!! 

TwiggyThe final result was a yellow and brown giraffe called Twiggy – little Miss M was very pleased with her achievement although did feel a little downhearted that he was a little tricky to stand on all fours but did enjoy wiggling his head around using the attached stick.

The Mister Maker DVD is an excellent way of inspiring children to get more interested in crafting with lots of ideas and simple materials used.

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.

Potato & Carrot stamping – crafty fun!!

Fancy getting crafty with your little ones, hate the mess and clearing up – well that’s me and I tend to avoid too many messy activities with my two. They do plenty on the two and half days they spend at nursery each week so they I don’t feel that they are missing out in any way. But with the Make Time to Play campaign to encourage us to play more with our children I thought I’d step out of my comfort zone and set up an exciting messy activity for Miss M to do at home.

I decided to try potato stamping. Miss M was thrilled when I told her what we were going to be doing and couldn’t wait to get started. It’s actually very simple and the only materials required are potatoes and some paint!!

Not only can you make pictures, but  you can create greetings cards, wrapping paper or many other ingenious ideas such as a rocket out of a kitchen roll tube with stars stamped up the side…

StampingPlease watch our video of how to do potato stamping with Miss M: