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To be sick to the back teeth off crap "craft kits"

(18 Posts)
fishandlilacs Fri 29-Mar-13 11:38:03

My dd was 5 last yr, shes known to be a crafting creative girl so for her birthday last year she must have had about 10-12 different crafting type kits, make a seaside scene, make bookmarks, paint your own wind chimes, make glitter tins, paint your own tea set etc. We pull them out one by one to do together when we get time.

I'm not ungrateful for the gifts but I have serious issues with the quality of the stuff inside. I get frustrated that the crayons break, the paintbrushes lose hairs, the china breaks when you look at it, the paints are thin and not suitable for purpose, stickers dont stick and punch out pieces dont punch out.

These things should be a pleasure for children but invariably they end up in the bin half finished. If an adult cant do this stuff because the quality is so poor how is a 5 yr old who relishes this sort of thing supposed to not get upset if it doesn't work out.

Beehatch Fri 29-Mar-13 11:39:44

I hear you!!!

EarlyInTheMorning Fri 29-Mar-13 11:40:04

Kits are not usually value for money.

SolidGoldBrass Fri 29-Mar-13 11:41:38

Maybe let the kind family members know that Hobbycraft vouchers are a better idea? Unfortunately craft 'for kids' stuff is usually rubbish.

fishandlilacs Fri 29-Mar-13 11:42:44

The market is flooded with them, as i said she had a big birthday party last year so was lucky to get kits like this from quite a few school friends, I know they are only £5-10 each so i'm not expecting miracles but they should at least be fit for purpose! It doesn't seem to matter what brand they are from either.

gymmummy64 Fri 29-Mar-13 11:50:15

Not so relevant now, but when my DDs were younger I had a rule NEVER to buy any craft kit for kids that had been advertised on TV. Especially near Christmas. I then extended that rule to NEVER buying any craft kit for kids at all. It's not just the quality of the materials, it's often the whole concept of the kit as well.

We moved onto making sure we had good supplies of materials - paint, papers, beads, wool, string etc and then we could do pretty much whatever we wanted. So, much better to have glass paints and paint a jam jar than buy a kit. Much better to paint rocks you've found yourself, do your own decoupage, buy your own crochet bobbin etc. So, vouchers really are a good idea.

The exceptions I've found have been window art, Fimo, Hama (overpriced though) and some friendship bracelet kits.

Sickofthesnow Fri 29-Mar-13 11:54:15

I tend to buy crafty stuff for birthday presents when I don't know the child (think school friend birthdays) or if the child has tastes that are way out of my price range!
I've learnt to stop asking the parent what their child is into as it ends up costing a fortune.
So I usually get a doodle pad, some form of pens, glue, and a few packs of those crafty packs that have googly eyes, foam shapes, feathers and the likes in them. Wrap it all up and put in a bag of haribo for good measure grin

Might seem like a shit gift to some but I'll be damned if I'm spending 20 quid on an action figure for a kid I don't even know just because thats what they're "int to"

Refuse point blank though to buy the craft kits that have all these things in them already - because 1) they're typically shit quality and 2) it can cost less to buy the items individually

fishandlilacs Fri 29-Mar-13 11:58:19

sickof i'd much prefer that but sadly you cant dictate to school friend people what to buy without sounding rude can you?

i do have a fairly good supply of crafty stuff anyway but ofc these kits are there unused on her shelf and when were stuck at home she wants to use them. I dread it when she says "Mummy can we do a craft kit today?" because it end up in tears and frustration sometimes mine. i cant wait til we have used them all up, she has about 3 left!

It's not the gifts I have an issue with at all, it's very generous and kind of people, it's the quality were expected to put up with

spottyparrot Fri 29-Mar-13 11:58:23

I also have a 5yo dd and we have 6 craft kits from her birthday still to do! I have done loads with her already but agree quality is shocking inside some of them. We have had a few nice ones, a few which I have needed to use my own stuff to substitute the terrible stuff inside (this is the most usual outcome!) and a few which are not salvageable at all and need to go in the bin. It is extremely wasteful but my dd is now used to me saying which ones don't work.

Ds has 3 of these kit type things left as well from his birthday.

Think I may need to snaffle a couple and send to charity shop!

fishandlilacs Fri 29-Mar-13 12:01:03

Were doing a nice window art one now-that seems quite good

KurriKurri Fri 29-Mar-13 12:52:56

I totally agree. I know you got these sets as gifts, but IMO, it is better to invest in some decent quality craft materials, paints and brushes, and make your own 'kit'.
You can never get good results with shoddy materials, and that is disappointing for a child.

Honestly I did a large craft project at Christmas for local children in the library, some people had donated materials, which was really kind, but a lot of it was 'craft kit' things, and frankly after wrestling with one too many tubes of bloody cheap glitter glue, I hid some of it because it wasn't worth the stress blush

KurriKurri Fri 29-Mar-13 12:56:57

Oh I've come over all ranty, because I've just thought about those knitting kits you get for kids, - bendy plastic needles, and garish fiddly nasty wool. I'm an experienced knitter and I'd struggle with them. They make things harder for children and it puts them off. You can get really nice short length knitting needles, and some nice chunky wool for kids and they'll get a lovely result.

ventilatormum Fri 29-Mar-13 13:00:44

Goodness me I am with you on this one.
When my two were little, because the younger one was disabled yet v good with her hands, we did lots of "on the table" stuff as it was something both could do together, and adults could engage easily with them. The girls loved getting the kits as presents and often chose them with birthday money etc but my word, some were a total nightmare. My personal worsts were anything with candles/candle making (nightmare) or one massive box which involved hours of tearing up newspapers - not papier mache but actually had to use these strips to make stuff.
What did work was the velvety stuff - paper backed with velvet? can't recall exactly but the outcome was quite nice; also the beads you iron (hama, I think). Ultimately we had far more fun designing scrap books which we gave to new born babies in the family (well , we liked making them anyway!!). My older dd ended up with a big interest in art! Painting pebbles was also fun ...

booboobeedoo Fri 29-Mar-13 13:04:35

Have you heard of re gifting? ;-)
Keep the crappy craft kit merry go round going.

KurriKurri Fri 29-Mar-13 13:11:20

booboobeedoo - I now have a vision of an ancient, completely disintegrated and dried out craft kit eventually finding it's way back to the OP, having passed through the hands of hundreds of bemused children grin

fishandlilacs Fri 29-Mar-13 13:30:48

I'm glad i'm not alone in this. maybe we should start a campaign!

elfycat Fri 29-Mar-13 13:48:24

I've managed to avoid craft kits so far but DD1 is only 4 so there's plenty of time. I'm a knitter/crocheter/patchworker/cross-stitch kind of crafter and I let her use my stuff and I think people have worked out that I have it all and more, but that's another story and an often-broken promise to DH not to buy more wool

Best craft for a 3-4 year old we've found so far is a square of patchwork material, embroidery hoop and tapestry needle with left over cross stitch threads. She's getting good at tiny stitches and beading now - just freestyle fun.

Long may it last.

EndoplasmicReticulum Fri 29-Mar-13 13:51:20

Yes. In fact most things in kit form are rubbish - you can add to that any sort of "make a car" kit.

And don't get me started on "science" kits. Even the stuff the Science Museum sells is a bit rubbish.

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