(Editor’s Note: This is the first installment of “Kaitlynn’s Corner” which as a father I couldn’t be prouder of. Hard to believe but my little lady is now 6 and is ready to come play with Daddy in this realm of communication by pixels. The even sweeter part is Momma’s on her way to the Toy Box too… stay tuned. – Jim – AKA Daddy)
Where we got it – Books-A-Million – Branson, MO – $12.99
The Good – There is nothing more wonderful playing with my little girl. And now that she’s gotten into the crafty stuff, it’s Daddy’s time to shine! Up until now playtime for Kaitlynn revolved around a lot of Barbie, Monster High and Video Game stuff. That was all Momma’s realm. (Yes, Alicia is the wears the gamer pants in our family, I excel only at Free Cell. And that’s just another thing that makes us a great team 🙂 ).
The craft is recommended for ages 5 and up and while I don’t disagree with that it does require some adult supervision until your little one gets the hang of the poking and inserting of the felt pieces. There’s a down side to that but we’ll get to that in just a little bit. For now let’s talk about the fun!
Kaitlynn insisted that this puppy would be her own creation and design more so than going for the recommended look on the box. So first she mapped out what HER puppy was going to look like. And that to me is awesome. Following instructions is all well and good, and important in learning process but in crafting we find that the more the imagination can soar the better! And boy oh boy did it!
The color scheme was one thing but the snag in design came in the apparently AWOL felt ears. While they did eventually turn up in the box the day after we did this (magically I guess. I swear we checked that thing ten times and they were not there) she decided that it would be perfectly acceptable to turn him into a “zombie dog” using the tail for one ear and the other spot bare. Mind you she doesn’t watch Walking Dead or anything like that but she sure digs the kooky ones found in some of the Halloween children’s songs on YouTube. This also led to the discovery of “Creepy Cuddlers”. She feels bad for them and says they need love too.
The initial poking was a bit tricky getting used to for her little hands. But she made it through about half of the project before turning it over to me to fill in the gaps. Specifically the bottom and backside. After about an hour or so of poking the felt into the core, “Harry” came to life and the happy smile arrived. And while Kaitlynn is completely pleased I have to point out a couple of issues…
The bad – While the core isn’t exactly like concrete it is a bit tougher to poke than one would expect. As such the included poker / applicator didn’t hold up very well. This is the reason that Kaitlynn had to hand it off to Daddy. It became too frustrating to get the felt in with the tip bending more and more. Mind you its not sharp but the wax coating and the Styrofoam are just too much for it to handle. I remedied this by using a small, procession screwdriver. As such I really didn’t want to take the chance of Kaitlynn poking herself with the sharp tip. Being that you have to hold the core body and finagle the felt pieces the possibility of slippage is too high for my liking. As a suggestion to the makers I would suggest adding a little bit of a pointy tip to the completely blunt tool that’s included.
The only other complaint we could find would be is that the box makes the Puppy look like it would be much larger in scale. Not a deal breaker and in the end it is the same size as an average TY Beanie but it is just a little misleading.
Final thoughts – In the end, even after finding the ears she is much happier with “Harry” as he is. She even sleeps with him now. Not that he’s all that soft because of the wax coated / Styrofoam core, but because she loves the fact that she and Daddy made him. And that’s what makes up for any of the shortcomings I mentioned. Sure we had to improvise but it’s a craft and as such it’s a little more acceptable than a truly broken toy.
The retail price is also very reasonable considering the final product but even more so for the time spent together and the memories that are being made. We had fun and “Harry” is now a part of Kaitlynn’s Corner.
Kaitlynn and Daddy – 01/06/16
P.S. SHOUT OUT to Crafty Carol with the Cool School channel on YouTube. You have really inspired my daughter. Thank you and all the crew for all you do in children’s programming for the modern age! – Jim