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ArtHouse Review by Marie Duval

Curtis Jacobson, Proprietor/Inventor
Storyboard Toy
429 Martin Street
Longmont, CO 80501

It is a pleasure to review Curtis Jacobson's Storyboard Toys! LCC award winning ArtHouse and Decor Kits. "ArtHouse", as its proprietor/inventor Curtis Jacobson calls it, is a "kid-customizable toy building." The ArtHouse arrived well packaged in a customized cardboard box with a handle for re use and easy transport. The house's transparent polypropylene walls were snapped together and ready to play with in minutes. The clear plastic walls serve as art 'display cases' and are held in place by strong magnets.

It is made out of American made, high quality, durable and attractive materials. The ArtHouse is a re-usable creativity display house with space for 12 different drawings in its clear plastic inner and outer walls forming a house with a solid wood roof and quality, finished wood floor. (Roofs come in a choice of colors.) This versatile home can be redecorated quickly and easily and is fun for the whole family. It has won the 2004 Teachers' Choice (tm) Award and the Dr. Toy "Best Vacation Children's Products" Award.

Children of all ages can combine efforts designing a theme building for unit studies, holidays, hobbies or other themes. Our 9 year old daughter immediately inserted the pre printed colored art pages from the Horse Barn Decor Kit into the clear plastic walls to make a horse stable out of the ArtHouse frame. We have 'adopted' two lovely plastic horses to live in the stable as well from our local discount store. ArtHouse has since been a firehouse and is currently a Japanese home. The Decor Kits come with a variety of clip art and paper dolls fitting each theme and this encouraged our daughter to use the computer and look for more clip art to add to the themes. The clear walls are suited for use with 8 1/2 by 11 inch paper and free style artists may exhibit all their own creations in its walls as well. (Decor kits come with theme drawing instructions.)

Our 12 year old son had just bought himself and inexpensive digital camera with short video clip capacities and noted that the ArtHouse would be highly effective for changing scenes and sets for taping a video. ArtHouse Decor Kits include: The North American Horse Barn, Firehouse, Country Cottage, Viking Longhouse, and Traditional Japanese Home (in contemporary animation-style). The ArtHouse itself comes with the Firehouse and Country Cottage introductory Decor Kits. All Decor Kits for ArtHouse include drawing instructions pertaining to the kit's theme, theme paper dolls, theme coloring pages, social studies information and the Viking Longhouse Decor Kit includes an authentic Viking Board Game to play. Quality workmanship is used in the art and text of all Storyboard Toys! products. High quality paper is used in the kits. Instructions are even available on how to make stained glass windows for the ArtHouse.

The North American Horse Barn Decor Kit includes 42 pages of horse related fun. Fourteen of those pages are educational pages. Quality color "play-ready" printed horse barn pages are ready to turn an ArtHouse into a horse stable immediately. The same pages are also provided in black and white as coloring book walls to be colored in by the artists themselves. The North American Horse Barn Decor Kit includes step by step instructions for budding artists on how to draw horses and design their own ArtHouse wall displays from scratch. Information about horse breeds, history, anatomy, coat colors, patterns, markings, what horses eat and how to tell a horse's age are included. Our daughter was eager to properly name the horse colors and markings on horses we saw in our area after learning them from the Decor Kit. Paper horses to cut out and use in the stable are included. Decor Kits stand alone and can be used as creative teaching materials to the themes or with the nifty ArtHouse to display them.

The ArtHouse would be an excellent way to display homeschool projects on a wide variety of themes for a variety of age levels. Everyone in the family can design and display a wall of the Art House. Storyboard Toys! has a web site gallery welcoming artist's entries to be displayed by creative children. Take a look at How will you customize, use and decorate your ArtHouse? Let your imagination go wild with this creativity toy.

--Product Review by: Marie Duval-Igarta and Family, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine