For Elena’s 10th birthday, we had the grand idea of having 8 of her closest girlfriends over for a sleepover, including pizza, cake and roll upon roll of duct tape for crafting. We shipped Eli over to his grandparents so he wouldn’t interfere with the girls and their girly good time. It didn’t take us long to realize that Eli and my parents got the good end of that deal. Elena and her friends are a good bunch, but they’re a loud, squealy bunch. I learned a few things from the experience:
- Earplugs are no match for 8 girls who think 11:30 pm is just-gettin-this-party-started-time.
- Whatever reasons we came up with for not looking at houses with basements six years ago were stupid.
- Open-ended crafting with 8 girls, especially with sticky stuff, requires much patience and an extra set of hands.
So what on earth would possess me, not even two months later, to host more girls for an afternoon of crafting? Hint: it had something to do with this lovely box showing up on my doorstep.
Creativity for Kids, a division of Faber-Castell, makes children’s creative art sets. Based in Cleveland, Ohio, the company was started by two friends who knew that when kids were provided with the right materials, the creative opportunities were endless. They started putting together craft kits in their home in 1977, cutting up feather dusters and collecting scrap wood from lumber yards. 35 years later, their kits can be found at independent toy stores, craft stores, big box retailers and museum gift shops, with many kits bearing the coveted “Oppenheim Best Toy Award.”
I wish I would’ve recorded the girls’ squeals when they saw the craft spread. I’m not sure even noise-canceling headphones would’ve been a match for that decibel level.
I knew they would have a good time, but I was also a little worried that we’d quickly descend into the frustrations that plagued our sleepover craft – the girls needing help and only having one of me to help them figure out directions or assemble something. Turns out, I didn’t have a thing to worry about. The beauty of these kits is that they really are age-appropriate and easy to use. The only thing the girls needed me for was to keep them fueled up with snacks!
At one point I couldn’t resist, and I just had to sit down with them and make my own bracelet. I guess they’re serious when they say the kits are for ages 9 to 99. The girls crafted together for close to 2 hours. They chattered away about school, books, and music, giving me a rare glimpse into their world. I loved every minute of it, and I think they had a pretty good time, too.
Any of the Creativity for Kids craft kits would easily make my list of best gifts for tweens. We only played with girl-centered crafts, but they have a great selection of gender-neutral and boy-centered kits as well. Sleepovers, rainy days, or just-because, the Creativity for Kids kits will definitely make your day. Earplugs and extra hands definitely not required.