We had a very rainy Sunday this past weekend, and we were all stuck inside the house. I attempted to get some work done while Rylie and Bryce played with their toys and entertained each other, but after a while, they got bored and were up to no good. I had a box of goodies from Manhattan Toy on the table, and I decided that our rainy Sunday afternoon would be a great time to get them out.
The specialty toy maker recently launched a series of 28 appealing arts & crafts, do-it-yourself, role-play and puppet kits plus exciting games collectively known as the brand new "imagine i CAN™" series. With fun topics like knitting, pet rocks, castles, caterpillars and fairies, I knew at first glance that both of my kids would have fun reviewing these kits.
We received three of the imagine i CAN™ kits for review. Bryce was busy playing in his room when I first got them out, so Rylie decided she wanted to start with the Imagine I Can Lace & Play Porcupine. (That is what it is called on the website, but the box I received said "Lace & Play Hedgehog", so I will be referring to it as "hedgehog" from here on out. After all, "Hedgie" is no name for a porcupine!)
Geared for ages 3 and up, this kit was pretty simple in nature. It came with two perforated sheets - the hedgehog on one and the spines (or quills, in the case of a porcupine) on the other, two googly eyes, and some pink lace.
Once we got the pieces punched out of the cardboard-like sheets, it was time to lace Hedgie up.
I matched the first spine up on the back of the hedgehog and started to show Rylie how to lace it. She quickly said "Mommy, I know how to lace!" Well, that was news to me, so I let her go. She had a hard time holding it with one hand while feeding the lace with the other, so she asked her dad for some assistance. He held the pieces together as she quickly went under and over with the lace. I was surprised how quickly she finished.
Once she had all of the pieces laced together, we cut the excess ends of the lace off and taped them to the back of the hedgehog. The instructions weren't very clear on what to do with the ends of the lace, so I figured this was the best way to keep it from coming out.
Rylie then peeled the paper off the back of the eyes and stuck them in their places. She was so happy with her little craft!
She was excited to move on to the next kit, which was the Imagine I Can Creative Color Sticker Clings. This kit is so cool! Kids can make their own stickers that cling to a variety of surfaces. The kit includes 1 plastic folder, 2 tracing template sheets full of fun sticker designs, 5 colorful glue sticks and 1 bottle of black outlining glue.
Pay no attention to the messy table - it is Rylie's "craft table".
The first step is to choose which sticker you want to create, and then place it inside the plastic folder. (We had to fold the template so we could get the parrot in the middle.) Once inside the folder, Rylie traced over the template with the black outlining glue. She again needed her dad's assistance to hold the top of the folder down while she traced the outline.
*Tip - unfold the folder and bend it the other way slightly until it is flat. It is much easier to hold down this way, and you can also make more than one sticker at a time.
Once the outline had been traced, we left it on the table to dry for a few hours so the black wouldn't bleed into the colors. When it was dry, Rylie used the colorful glue to color in her parrot. She had fun choosing the colors she wanted to use to finish her sticker.
*Tip - make sure that the colored glue touches the black outline on all parts of the sticker. It makes it much easier to peel off.
After a few minutes, Rylie's parrot was completely colored in.
Once we unfolded the folder, Rylie realized that we had a blank side, and immediately wanted to start another sticker. She traced the skull and crossbones before we set it on the table to dry. She was leaving to go to my mom's house that evening, so she colored in the skull before she left.
When I got home from work the next day, the clings were completely dry and ready to peel from the plastic. The colors dried darker than they were when they were wet, and I thought they looked great!
I carefully peeled the clings from the plastic, and they came off pretty easily. They are thin and they stretched pretty well, but I definitely think that kids are better off letting the parents help with this step so they don't risk ripping them. Once I had them peeled off, I stuck them to the front door so Rylie will see them when she gets home from spring break at my mom's house. They have been stuck on the door for a few days now, and they are still firmly in place.
The best part about this kit is that the template and plastic are reusable, so kids can make as many clings as they want until the glue runs out. There is plenty of glue, though, so I'm sure Rylie will be able to make several clings in the coming weeks. This kit is geared to ages 6 and up, but Rylie had no problems with it at 5 years old.
In between the sticker drying, we got Bryce out of his room and sat down to play Imagine I Can Catch A Pirate! When I first looked at the small tin, I wondered how a whole game could fit into it. This game for ages 3 and up comes with 27 pirate cards, 3 dice, a wooden pirate, and instructions.
To play, you lay all of the cards out face up, take turns rolling the dice and then all players try to find the card that corresponds to the dice. For example, a green card (from color dice) with two (from number dice) girls (from character dice).
If the pirate comes up on the character dice, the first person to grab the wooden pirate gets to take any card and that round is over. While both kids actually did well finding the correct cards (it usually boiled down to the one who was closest to it found it first), Bryce was always the one to get to the pirate first. In fact, the first game ended up being tied up at 4 to 4 because Bryce got the pirate twice. The winner is the first person to get to 5 cards first.
He was having fun playing this game, I promise. He was just in no mood for pictures.
There are several variations to this game, but we kept it pretty simple. We played a few games, and Rylie and Bryce had a great time playing. The best part was that they congratulated each other when they won!
I absolutely LOVE these imagine i CAN™ kits from Manhattan Toy, and I will definitely be purchasing more in the future. With prices ranging from $5 to $20 per kit, they are definitely worth the price. After all, they saved us from the rainy day blues!
Which of these great kits would your kids love to create or play with on a rainy day?
~*~imagine i CAN™ Kit or Game of Choice~*~
Disclosure: All opinions are my own. Items for review and/or giveaway were provided by sponsor or representing PR agency at no cost.