book review crafts handmade

eco-friendly crafting with kids

We were sent a copy of Eco-friendly Crafting with Kids by Kate Lilley, who writes the hugely popular Mini-eco blog. I’ve been a fan of her blog for years, using one of her shadow puppet templates to make a Halloween tshirt for the toddler back in 2011.

eco-friendly crafting with kids

The book is as lovely and colourful as her blog and includes 35 projects designed for preschoolers up to and including the age of 5. The projects are split into themes: homemade materials, music, nature, recycling bin, paper and card, sewing and threading, science and a bonus section of boredom busters at the end. Some of the projects I can’t wait to get started on with the toddler but some are too advanced, which means this book will get a lot of use over the coming years as the children grow up.

My toddler would happily make all the projects in this book and I’m pretty sure we could make most of them from supplies we already have. We already try to craft using items from the recycling box and this book is full of fun ideas! Templates are included at the back and there’s a handy directory of suppliers and other craft blogs to check out too. The only thing that slightly annoyed me is that are some Americanism, such as jug/pitcher and there are lots of different units of measurements, from cups to tablespoons. However, I suppose this is inevitable when a book is meant for a wide English-speaking audience.

This afternoon we made the cardboard castle as I knew this would appeal to both of the little people. You only need cardboard so it’s a really simple project. However it wasn’t made clear in the template or instructions how many pieces you needed to cut which I found quite frustrating.

castle template

I copied the templates then transferred them to cardboard and cut them out. When I came to assemble the castle it was obvious there weren’t enough pieces so I had to go and fish my templates out of the bin and cut more. Not always easy when there are children bouncing around in front of you demanding their castle! Anyway, the finished castle is fun, folds away flat and can be decorated with pens and stickers. Fit for a queen.

cardboard castle

eco-friendly crafting with kids is published by Cico Books at £14.99 and is available from

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