Sunday, January 31, 2021

Maker Camp: Heritage Crafts and Skill-Building Projects for Kids

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Maker Camp is a cool project book and philosophy guide to heritage crafts and skills by Delanie Holton-Fessler. Due out 23rd Feb 2021 from Roost Books, it's 176 pages and will be available in hardcover and ebook formats. 

This is a no-nonsense usable guide to crafting and skill-building tutorials aimed at kids (but with useful takeaways for all ages). The author has experience with community based crafts and skills workshops aimed at kids and it shows. Her instruction is basic, accessible, fun, and full of positivity (you *can* do it and, refreshingly, what to do when it doesn't go to plan). The introduction covers safety, workshop setup, materials, and best practice. The section on shop safety is very well written and full of good advice. There are a lot of good prompts in this section which will guide crafters into thinking about their creative processes and using what they've learned to improve further skills and outcomes. 

The following chapters contain the tutorials and are arranged roughly thematically: heritage skills (shelter, soap carving, fire-making, bows & arrows, herbal salves), fiber arts (weaving, creating cording, mending, hand sewing a stuffie, natural dyes), woodworking (toolbox, bee hotel, limberjacks, toy cars, 2x4 challenge), and tinker build & play (junk robots, tiny town, simple machines, mini kites, cardboard creators). These are appealing and whimsical, useful and do-able crafts and skills. 

This is a really useful resource guide for parents, educators, child-minders, grandparents, makers' and scouting groups, library activity groups, and the like. Some of these activities would really work fine over remote meeting/zoom (with adult supervision, obviously). A lot of these projects result in useful items (bee hotel, construction projects, and others) and will give kids confidence, planning experience, and skills. 

Five stars. Well worth a look. 12 year old me would've absolutely *loved* this book.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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