ArtTerro is a brand-new company to me, and I’m so pleased that they reached out and offered to send some kits for my family to “craft test.” Their tag line is “Art of the Earth”- and with a slogan like that, who wouldn’t be interested? Here’s some of what they say about their mission:
We love art and wanted to share that experience with our kids. We searched high and low for eco-friendly, open-ended art projects with beautiful materials but they were nowhere to be found. Most kits on the market offer lots of glitzy packaging but disappoint after opening the box. Youâ€™re left with a handful of cheap materials and a cookie-cutter project that ends up in the trash a week later.
Sadly, I know enough about that. So I drafted my 9 year old son “D” and my 5 year old daughter “BK” to try these out!
For my first run, I tried out the Wire and Bead Art Kit (MSRP $16.95.) Even as I was opening the kit, I noticed it was different: instead of using a plastic clamshell or cellophane to package the kit, it was in a re-usable plastic baggie. Nice! Now I don’t have to find something to store the “leftovers” in!
There was a nice selection of colored wire in various gauges. Most were 16 to 22, which means that my kids could easily manipulate the wire with bare hands. There is also a nice mention in the “instructions” that you should NEVER cut the wire with your scissors- rather, use a nail clipper. Good advice!
I opened the bag of beads and was satisfied with the color and materials selection. Most were glass, some were wood, and there some plastic ones as well. All had holes large enough to accommodate the wire. Since I was using one kit for two kids, I was a little underwhelmed with the amount of beads provided. My 5 year old LOVES beads and would use the ones provided in a minute! So I admit I dug into my bead stash and pulled out a few more to supplement.
So… as for instructions, there really aren’t any. After all, this is an “open-ended” art experience, and the idea is to just give the kids good quality materials and let their imaginations run with it.
Except that’s really hard for my son. He became quickly frustrated because he “couldn’t think of anything to make.” I showed him the pictures and made a few suggestions. He shut down. (Meanwhile, little girl is happily stringing a wire necklace.) Finally, I suggested that he make something FOR his sister, and little girl piped up that she wanted a crown.
This finally got his juices flowing and he set to work. He hand-molded the butterfly motif, and I helped him with some of the technical bits on how to attach it to the wire crown he’d made.Â Wanna see how it turned out?
Pretty amazing, right? Well, this is exactly why I love this kind of kit! Without a specific blueprint to copy, most kids will exceed creatively. And the side benefits of problem-solving and working through frustration are life-lessons!
Oh….and little girlie? Well, she happily strung and re-strung beads for over a 1/2 hour!
So over all, I rate this as a high-quality experience. Yes, your child or participant might experience frustration, and you might have to coach him/her to dig deeper to be patient, think of something to make, or develop more skill with the materials. However, this is exactly what makes it a high quality experience.
I also want to note that while the suggested age range of this kit is 7 and up, my 5 year old was as happy as a lark. Also, after years in the field working in nursing homes, group homes, and medical clinics, there is nothing that makes this kit so “juvenile” that it wouldn’t be considered age-appropriate for teens andÂ adults.
I’m so happy to have had an opportunity to try this kit with my kids (and play a little myself, too!) Now I’m happy to share that YOU can win one of these kits to try out YOURSELF! Just leave a comment to be eligible to win.
SORRY-THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED! THANKS FOR READING & SEE WHO WON HERE!
Editor’s Note: I also have to make one caveat- I was told by the kit’s creators that there are NO plastic beads at ALL in the Wire and Bead kit. Actually, they are all shell, glass, and wood. Sorry for the misinformation!
If you are considering purchasing Artterro Art Kits, I hope you’ll use CTD affiliate links:
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