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Hands on Crafts for Kids
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that if kids are at all interested in this program, they're going to want to make one of the featured crafts, which tend to require specialized materials you probably don't have on hand. It might be best to tape and preview the show in order to be prepared (or visit the show's Web site) if your TV listings offer episode information.
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What's the story?
In HANDS ON CRAFTS FOR KIDS, each episode offers five projects that follow a theme, which is tentatively tied in to a lesson on the topic. For example, historical commentary on how trains and planes changed the world in the 20th century accompanied the creation of a magnetic checkers set. Projects, however, are presented quickly, are often complicated, and usually require special materials most families wouldn't have on hand. (New episodes promise simpler projects and shorter materials lists.) Specialized techniques are glossed over and basic ones, which might not be obvious to the target audience (such as pinning a pattern on to trace it or using a brad) are skipped entirely.
Is it any good?
This show is a great idea that's poorly executed. With the surge of home decorating and do-it-yourself programming available for adults, a project show for kids seems like a home run. Unfortunately, with its poor production values and uninspired presenters, this one seems unlikely to fill the void. The lessons, unfortunately, are no more inspiring than the presenters. All crafts require not only parental supervision, but also participation and explanation for any child young enough to be interested. What's more, there's often a long wait time between steps, a challenge for any child.
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