The Art of Craft When Summer Comes

The Art of Craft When Summer Comes

As summer rolls on, parents search for supplemental activities to keep kids busy pre- or postcamp or while traveling. Sidelines can help fill those needs.

Mrs. Grossman’s Paper Co., Novato, Calif., known for its terrific stickers, takes the category to new heights. In addition to an extensive selection of stickers for all ages, Mrs. Grossman’s offerscraft kits for making stationery, magnets, jewelry, pop-up cards and frames: all you add are scissors and glue. Newly available is a line of organizer stickers designed for six-hole organizer books. (800) 457-4570;

FunStuff, Ft. Wayne, Ind., duces a line of laminated play cards with reusable vinyl stickers that serve as both stationery and gift toy. Each card comes with an envelope and note paper and is available in two sizes. (800) 598-7470;

Mudpuppy Press, the children’s division of Galison Books, New York City, has added 20-piece board puzzles for younger children to its grow- ing line of kids’ sidelines. Other of- ferings include puzzles of increasing complexity for different ages, family puzzles, boxed note cards, note folios (very large note cards) and half notes. (212) 354-8840; fax (212) 391-4037. Balitono, Brooklyn, N.Y. makers of brightly colored, hand-painted three-dimensional wooden magnets, hanging ornaments, mobiles, plant sticks, napkin rings, pins and keychains announces “Paint the Wild” Rainforest Frog and Tropical Fish wooden craft kits. Everything needed for creating magnets and hanging decorations is included. (800) 769-9491. Rich Frog Industries, Burlington, Vt., specializes in charming children’s gifts and toys with an accent on history, art and nature. Products include rulers, puzzles, pencils, drawing templates, pencil boxes, bookends, decorative hangers, clothing racks, toothbrush holders and animal-character soft toys. (802) 865-9225

Sassafras Enterprises, Chicago, adds several new designs to its delightful selection of children’s bookends, featuring animal and transportation motifs. Brightly colored nylon book bags, pencil cases and belt bags should appeal to the student on the go. (800) 537-4941; fax (312) 220-0873.

The Heritage Collection. New York City–purveyors of African-inspired greeting cards, gift bags, gift wrap, mugs and place mats, canvas bags and posters premieres a line of coloring and activity books for children. (800) 969-5698; fax (212) 647-0188.

loom band bracelets and loom crafts

Loom Bands as popular as last year

Loom bands are creating a storm with multicolored bands, loom boards and hook tools becoming incredibly popular;Packaging becomes the product– almost–with the new Pop-Out Bag and Color-Me boxes and bags from Bags with a Twist, Danbury, Conn. The Pop-Out line features perforated figures that “pop out” to become toys, such as paper dolls, gliders, circus animals and dinosaurs. (800) 700-0302;

Wizbits, New York City creators of the award-winning children’s creature construction sets, brings us Zoobits and Dinobits, kits of puzzle-like pieces that fit together to construct realistic three dimensional animals or beasts. Each kit contains detailed descriptions of each animal and its habitat. (212) 627-2115;

Ek Success Ltd and its Crayon Factory division, Carlstadt, N.J.–manufacturers of an array of marker, calligraphy, watercolor and rubber-stamp creativity sets as well as the Beam and Read hands-free light for reading, writing or working–continue to expand their offerings. (800) 524-1349;

GeoCentral, Napa, Calif., adds several products to its notable lines of rock, fossil and sea shell collectors’ kits geared to nature-loving, object-hording kids. Rocky Bingo is an educational board game featuring the company’s Rocky the Rockhound character. Geosaurus debuts as a fresh face to guide youngsters through the world of fossils. (800) 231-6083;

Davis Liquid Crystals, San Leandro, Calif., presents a range of color-changing products. Everything is coated or covered with liquid crystals, which change color when touched: stickers, sticker albums, touchstones, paper weights, note pads, writing utensils, bookmarks, key rings, jewelry and mousepads. (800) 6775575;

Patch Products, Beloit, Wis., creators of games and puzzles for adults and kids, announces two new children’s games: Blurt!, a board game where players race to be the first to “blurt” out the word described in a simple definition; and TriBond Kids, a children’s version of the best-selling TriBond board game where players progress after correctly answering clue-sets. (800) 524-4263;

Cove Press, the new imprint of o.s. Games Systems, Stamford, Conn., tops its fall list with the Alice in Wonderland Puzzle and Game Book by Lewis Carroll scholar Edward Wakeling, based on a number of puzzles invented but never published by Carroll.

Platnik of America, New Canaan, Conn., expands its sizable ranks of Concentration-like Memo games, playing cards and jigsaw puzzles. (800) 962-3468;

Ever-popular bePuzzled of Bloomfield, Conn., presents a popular potential victim in its continuing murder-mystery puzzle series: “To Kill a Mother-in-Law,” which appears along with “Shop Till You Drop.” Kids will enjoy the three new puzzles in the Spider Tales mystery series, “Which Is Witch” “Spies on Wheels” and “Secret of Rock Island.” (203) 769-5710;

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