Friday, December 10, 2010

14. How to Be an Elf

The Toymaker's Christmas: Paper Toys You Can Make Yourself, by Marilyn Scott-Waters, Sterling, $7.95, ages 9-12, 48 pages. Being a toy maker is often one a child's greatest fantasies and now thanks to this all-inclusive craft kit, yours can be an elf at home. In this utterly charming paperback, Scott-Waters shares 11 of her whimsically painted paper toys for children to punch out, fold and glue together, culminating with a magical display of Santa on his sleigh pulled by one of his reindeer. Among her designs, the "Happy Snowman," a 3-D fellow with stick arms and a blue felt hat, "The Nutcracker" with curving body parts and a jaw attached with a spindle, and "Star Elves" you stack by connecting slots on their heads, hands and feet. One of my favorites is a decorative card with a built-in wheel to count down the days to Christmas. Each day, turn the card over to read a new, Christmasy thought, like "Do Good" or "Be Happy." I've been a Scott-Waters fan every since our boys were wee. Her website,, is one of the best kept secrets in cyberspace, with oodles of paper toy patterns designed for children to print out and make for just about any holiday. And every one is free! (Look there for a sweet selection of Chanukah, Kwanzaa and New Year's projects.) To go there now, click here. (You might just think you've been transported into Santa's workshop.)

1 comment:

  1. I bet my daughter would enjoy doing these paper crafts with me.