Saturday, 1 December 2012

Review - Merry Stickmas! Card making kits for kids

So, today is the first of December.  There's no getting away from it - Christmas is well and truly on its way!   With that realisation comes the knowledge it's once more that time to set aside a number of evenings to commit to the writing of Christmas cards.

I must admit that I don't overly enjoy writing out Christmas cards - my wrist begins to ache after a while - but I do enjoy receiving them and hope that the cards I send can help raise a smile on the faces of those who get them.  When in comes to family in particular, I like to try and personalise cards as much as possible and get the children involved.  That way, the card is almost like a gift in itself to family members who we don't get to see as often as we would like.

And this year is no exception.  I was wondering what we could try and do this year - possibly some potato printing or a glittery, hand-drawn picture - when the offer of trying out some card making stickers landed in my inbox.  Merry Stickmas! Card making kits are aimed at children aged three and above and cost £6 per pack with free UK-wide P&P.  Each kit includes six sheets of stickers, 12 blank cards, and 12 envelopes in each pack.

As you can see, the stickers are a little complicated.  You probably can't quite tell from my photograph, but the stickers will create 2 x reindeers, 2 x snowmen, 2 x Santas, 2 x robins, 2 x Christmas trees and 2 x children throwing snowballs.

I was surprised when I opened the kit and saw the stickers.  I was expecting them to be more-or-less whole images (for example, a complete Santa sticker) rather than having to stick all of the arms, legs, branches etc. together in order to make up the image.  I can see pros and cons to this.  It's a good thing in that it takes longer to make the cards, keeping children quiet and occupied.  But, I found that most of the sticker scenes were complicated to put together, especially when trying to do them with a nearly four-year-old.  Having said that, once I'd dismissed the notion of trying to get all the stickers looking perfect on the cards, Sophia and I had a great time working together and enjoyed the bonding time.

The card making kit didn't come instructions but it's relatively easy to work out how to use each sticker by referring to the images on the back of the pack.  Sophia liked the lack of instruction because she got to mix and match stickers and use them wherever she liked.  She particularly liked the freedom to decorate the Christmas tree stickers however she wanted to.

It took us an afternoon to make all 12 cards.  This included taking a break half-way through (not because Sophia needed a rest, but because I did!).  I have to be honest and say that if I'd have known how tricky it would be trying to put some of the Christmas sticker scenes together, I probably wouldn't have given this a go.  Sophia is too young at the moment to do this on her own (thank goodness Dexter showed absolutely no interest in helping!), but a slightly more basic version (such as having the whole Christmas tree as one sticker and then individual decoration stickers to use as you wish) would have gone down a storm with us.  Sophia did enjoy the activity though.  However, I think that if she'd been older, she would've enjoyed it even more because she wouldn't have to be so guided by me.

Having said all of that, Sophia's cards didn't turn out badly in the end.  In fact, I'd go as far to say that she did a fantastic job.  What do you think?

Please note: I was sent a Merry Stickmas! card making kit for the purposes of this review.  All thoughts and opinions are, as always, 100% honest.

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