Craft Book Review: Paper Play Features Cool Kid Activities

When a book title includes the words "Roll it, rip it, fold it, snip it," you know you're in for a good time! Paper Play by Lydia Crook (Running Press Kids, August 2013, $12.95) makes the claim that every single page in this hands-on book is meant to be used; she doesn't disappoint. More than 100 pages promise paper-themed activities for children of all ages, from seeing how many times you can fold one piece of paper to creating your own set of modern paper dolls.

"A page in this book is so much more than a simple piece of paper," reads the book's back cover. And it couldn't be more spot on.
Just a few pages into the book and Lydia has you trying your hand at origami, basic paper folder techniques and even trying to make a patterned paper cube.
The book's pages are all black and white, resulting in a striking look that allows children the opportunity to personalize their work with crayons, markers or whatever comes to mind.

The activities in the book tend to be somewhat simple, but when you've got a bored crafter on your hands with nothing to do, it offers plenty – and doesn't need an emergency trip to the craft store to complete.

One thing to keep in mind is that there's just one page per project. For families with more than one child wanting to interact with the book, a copy for each kid might be the best way to go. Or you can try making templates from (or copies of) some of the patterns so that favorite activities can be made again and again.

Take, for example, the windmill project. You make a simple template by tracing the design onto a piece of tracing paper and using it to make additional windmills with construction paper or even scrapbooking paper.
I used a piece of Martha Stewart Crafts holiday paper (great for a project like this as it has a design on either side of the piece) to make my windmill. I glued the center together with a snowflake sticker, thinking that this winter-themed windmill would make a great gift topper.
A good craft supply to have on hand when enjoying Paper Play? Zip Dry paper glue. This super-sticky glue is a recent find of mine that makes adhering thicker paper to a surface a breeze.
As you start to think of holiday gift lists and more days are filled with indoor play, add Paper Play to your list.

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