Visual arts and other creative activities provide children outlets to express themselves.
Play Foam Activity Set by CREATIVITY FOR KIDS
The Play Foam Activity Set includes five colors of the super-popular Play Foam, which can be used to create awesome creatures. Children can transform creations with an assortment of feathers, straws, pipe cleaners and wiggly eyes. The fun and creativity is endless as the Play Foam can be used again and again. Launch date: October 2006. — "Creativity for Kids....Parents really appreciate a product where the children are creating something," responded Ann Walker, owner of Curious Kidstuff in Seattle when asked for great-selling items in her store. — Play Foam’s been a top seller for Michelle Deutschmann, owner of Kaleidoscope Toys in Falmouth, Mass., since November 2006. — “Our product development team constantly reviews trends in the marketplace to keep current with what interests children. This involves store visits, online research, and getting feedback from children,” Lisa Ritchey of Faber-Castell told TDmonthly.
This colorful kit allows kids to create personalized notes and comes with the new KidsTALK book, “Thank You,” as well as 15 note cards, 12 card stock Pop-Outs! templates, and more than 600 fun Pop-Outs! in a portable Velcro-closing box.
Each kit contains everything needed to design and create 10 personalized holiday cards, including 12 templates of Pop-Outs! in various colors, shapes and sizes. Templates include die-cut embellishments for holiday and wintertime decorations, along with colored note cards and white envelopes. Make-Your-Own Holiday Cards also includes a kid-friendly portable Velcro-closing box with more than 250 Pop-Outs! for hours of fun. “Just like all our high-quality, award-winning art activity kits, Make-Your-Own Holiday Cards uses our unique Pop-Outs! (an awesome array of whimsical pop-out shapes) to provide hours of open-ended creativity,” Co-president Dena Hirschberg of Made by Hands told TDmonthly. Launch date: October 2007.
The Classic Potholder Loom by HARRISVILLE DESIGNS INC.
Kids can make colorful potholders for home, as gifts or to sell as a fund-raiser for school, church or a club. Potholder looms are one of those wonderful old-fashioned inventions still popular and useful today. The project is fun and easy to do for all ages. Cons: Colors are not vibrant; loops fray easily which makes finishing the edges especially difficult. — Owner Bob Breneman listed traditional craft kits in sixth place for best-sellers at G. Willikers in Portsmouth, N.H. In particular, Harrisville Designs’ traditional Pot Holder Loom kits sell well. — In late Spring 2011, Michelle Bears, owner of The Toy Store in Highlands, N.C., told TDmonthly that these looms were a best-selling activity kit at her store. — Greg Larson, owner of Larson's Toys and Games in Columbus, Ohio, told TDmonthly in a January 2015 survey that the classic Pot Holder Loom was one of their best-selling arts & crafts items.
This designer-set features a mannequin, sewing materials, a sketch book, yards of fabric, a swatch booklet, trims, a satin dress form, a garment bag and a design manual. Kids can decorate the dress included or create their own dream designs. “This product taps into the energy generated by television shows, such as ‘Project Runway,’ and excites tweens to try out their fashion design skills. The thoughtfulness that went into the selection of materials in the kit makes it ideal for the specialty market,” Lisa Ritchey of Faber-Castell told TDmonthly. Launch date: May 2007. — Terry Meyers, owner of Kaleidoscope Toys in Round Rock, Texas, told TDmonthly that her store “sells several dozen” of this item each month. — “They're all inclusive and that's attractive to customers because they don't need to go out and buy a whole bunch of other supplies,” said John Goehring, owner of The Toyworks in Santa Rosa, Calif., of his top-selling Creativity for Kids crafts in late 2008. — Thirteen percent of 44 retailers listed fashion-related kits as top-selling crafts in fall 2008.
This kit includes an eight-color pigment ink pad and eight foam-tip dabbers as well as three bound-in plastic pages of stencils in kid-selected designs. It also comes with a bonus stencil page of abstract shapes one can put together to make anything. Easy-to-understand instructions and hints help artists with techniques such as masking, layering colors, reverse stenciling and more. The book includes inspirational artwork and space for stenciling. — Stencil Art and other titles from Klutz are best sellers at Where’d You Get That!? in Williamstown, Mass., Owners Michele and Ken Gietz told TDmonthly in fall 2008. “It doesn’t matter how many outlets carry this line,” they said. “Most do not do the best job in display and variety. It is absolutely the fastest-turning line in arts and crafts.”