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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Big Fun Crafty Show features three-way contests among pairs of kids who must design and create a craft project based on the day's challenge. Episodes show contestants making things like sun catchers, dragon heads, and space-themed models, all with basic supplies like cardboard boxes, tape, glue, paint, and string. The young contestants' efforts demonstrate the value of working effectively with others and of compromising to find solutions that satisfy both teammates, as well as the fun of creative expression. Even though the show is a contest, all of the teams demonstrate good sportsmanship and receive recognition for the unique qualities of their work.
What's the story?
In THE BIG FUN CRAFTY SHOW, six contestants compete in pairs to complete a designated craft project in a timed challenge. Using supplies and tools from the Wall of Wonder, the three teams must race the 45-minute clock to design, construct, and decorate projects like a marble run, a birdhouse, a kite, and a new game. Partway through the challenge, they're also faced with an additional requirement for their finished project, such as including a noisemaker. When time runs out, the three projects are judged and the winning team awarded a craft-themed prize by host Carly Ciarrocchi.
Is it any good?
With its enthusiastic young contestants and its hands-on creativity challenges, this is as family friendly a competition show as you can find on TV. You need not be a crafting aficionado to enjoy the process of the contestants' planning and construction of their respective projects. It's always fun -- and a little surprising -- to see how three different teams of kids approach the same task in different ways, and how each contestant puts his or her personal stamp on the work.
The Big Fun Crafty Show's projects would make similarly simple projects for kids and parents with some basic supplies, tools, and ingenuity. Beyond crafting and artistic expression, there's also an element of engineering at play in these challenges, as the kids must make sure their projects not only support themselves, but also function appropriately for whatever task they're designed for. This entertaining and engaging contest emphasizes the value of designing, creating, and working as a team, all of which are excellent themes for kids.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the role of competition in skill building. How do the parameters of The Big Fun Crafty Show's challenges (time, predetermined supplies, etc.) encourage the contestants to think creatively? Does being under the pressure of competition bring out the best in them? Does it have the same effect on you?
What character strengths besides teamwork do you see among the contestants? Do their different personalities ever cause conflict in their team projects? Are there times when it's more beneficial to work alone than as a team? On the other hand, what are the benefits of learning to work with others?
Families can use this series to explore the concepts of solving problems and expressing yourself creatively. How would you have approached this project differently? What problems, if any, do you see with the contestants' work? How might you solve them with your own?
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