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I don’t often get the chance to review craft books for kids, but when this one crossed my desk I knew it was one that I would revisit again and again. Re-Craft: Unique Projects That Look Great (And Save The Planet) by Jen Jones and Carol Sirrine ($12.95, Capstone, ages 8 and up) is a bargain and a treasure because the projects included will cost next to nothing and what you need to make them can be found just by digging through your closets, drawers or recycling bin at home!

In over 100 pages, you will find step-by-step instructions, how-to photos and finished projects, tweens and teens can easily make any of these crafts in no time at all and they may even start a new trend.  There are so many original crafts in Re-Craft, but one of my favorites is Best Bow on page 98. Made from wrapping paper, this clever craft will help you use up all those wrapping paper pieces you’ve been hoarding in hopes that one day you’d have a very small package to wrap. I know this first hand! I keep all the small scraps since it seems such a shame to toss them when that good quality wrapping paper (the kind you buy from your child’s school fundraisers) is so darn expensive!

The book is divided into four practical sections: Old Clothes, Recyclables, All Natural and Paper and Cardboard with at least eight crafts per section. There’s a helpful and informative intro to each section and handy tips. So whether your crafter is seeking something fun to do on a rainy day or wants to make a friend a cool looking journal from magazines, this is the book that will make it all possible. Who knew recycling could be so creative?!!

-Reviewed by Ronna Mandel

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Fun Crafts and Activities From Pottery Barn Kids

With six more nights of Hanukkah and just three more days until Christmas, you might be taking a break from books. Maybe your children are already on school vacation and you’re looking for some new ways to keep them busy.  Try a little togetherness and a you’ll provide healthy distraction from computer games and other electronics. Perfect for the whole family, here are some simple and fun ideas from Pottery Barn Kids for hands-on holiday activities that keep you, and the kids happily engaged and entertained.

Check out these tips for planning a Christmas Cookie Exchange, including recipesinvitations and “how to” videos.

  •         Last-minute wrapping to do? Give your presents that extra little flourish of hand-crafted care, and try one of our creative approaches to gift wrapping. Make your presents even more magical this season with Starry WrapKeepsake Footprint Paper and Rudolph’s Nose Wrap.
  •         Share the joy of Hanukkah! This crafty Menorah is easy to assemble – and best of all, kids can “light” the candles on their own to celebrate each night of Hanukkah. Bring a little sparkle to Hanukkah celebrations with these creative Glittery Dreidel Place Cards. They’re simple for kids to make and add a fun element of festivity to the table – plus, they make great party favors!Plan your own Hanukkah festivities with tips and recipes from Pottery Barn Kids.

For more holiday ideas or for inspiration and advice year-round, visit the Pottery Barn Kids Design Studio.

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