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Doll Crafts: A Kid's Guide to Making Simple Dolls, Clothing, Accessories, and Houses Review by Cassie Deputie

Laurie Carlson
Chicago Review Press
(312) 337-0747
814 North Franklin Street
Chicago, Illinois 60610

Whether it’s a Saturday afternoon, or a Monday evening, or just any time you simply want to plop your kids in front a of a television and let them tune out for a moment of silence, it’s nice to have materials on hand for a more productive way to keep your kids occupied. As parents, we’re often looking for fun and interesting new things to do on our family nights together and frequently searching for edifying entertainment for our kids.

We received Doll Crafts: A Kid’s Guide to Making Simple Dolls, Clothing, Accessories, and Houses, by Laurie Carlson in the mail at just the right time! Immediately, my girls (I have four girls amongst my large family) and I started paging through the book deciding what dolls we wanted to attempt to make first. After we bookmarked the one’s we thought would be good entry-level crafts, we planned a family night and gathered materials. Most of the materials required for these projects were on-hand which is very convenient!

After dinner, the whole family, including the boys, sat down and we made our very first “Paper Dolls” along with a full wardrobe for them (page 20-21). We spent hours laughing, helping each other out, re-reading the directions together and problem solving, and then assembling our final products in the center of the table. We felt a sense of accomplishment as we lined up our unique dolls next to each other comparing and contrasting each person’s views of what they thought a paper doll should look like!

Since this primary experience, my girls have ceased to say they are bored. Any opportunity they get they are grabbing Doll Crafts and the art supplies and adding accessories and new members to their paper doll family. In fact, the walls in their bedroom have groups of paper dolls taped all over. Their creativity has exploded, and they have begun making their own models of dolls and play or craft for hours on end! Their plans are to next try the “Dancing Paper Doll” (page 22-23), the “Sock Doll” (page 48-49), the “Recycled and Renewed Doll” (page 84-85), and the “Four Room House” (page 134).

I love how this book has opened my children to a whole new world of creativity! They are using mediums they haven’t used before and successfully following written directions simple enough for them to understand. They are able to plan and then execute their plans. From the skills they’re acquiring, they are able to create their own masterpieces. And best of all, they’re not watching television or complaining of boredom!

A few other things I appreciate about Doll Crafts is the differing levels of dolls available to create! We started with the simple paper and sock dolls, but I am anticipating the motivation for my girls to increase their skills and move to more challenging dolls. I also enjoy the brief descriptions of the history, origin, and use of each doll in the book. For example, page 17 describes the “Gingerbread Dolls” like so: “Long ago, small dolls made of baked gingerbread were sold at county fairs and celebrations, and most everyone could afford to enjoy them. It is said that Queen Elizabeth I of England introduced them at a party where she served cookies made to look like her guests…”

My only complaint about this book, and I’ll admit it’s because I do have a bias due to the fact that I am a believer in Jesus Christ, is the inclusion of some dolls such as the “Worry Doll” (page 37-38), the “Healing Doll” (page 39-40), and the “Voodoo Doll” (page 41).

No more rainy (or snowy if you live where I do) days filled with boredom or television screens for us! I am more than thrilled to sweep up scraps of paper when my kids are done putting their minds and skills into practice and producing something in their spare time acquiring new skills and learning to follow simple directions using Doll Crafts!

- Product review by Cassie Deputie, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, February, 2018