This Craft Foam Kit Turned Into Hours of Independent Play for My Kids

Think of it as an early geometry lesson that gives you the chance to sit back and relax.
By Megan Zander
Aug 09, 2019

Ages

4-8

klutz foam craft

Aug 09, 2019

My 6-year old twin boys are in a phase where all they want to do is make crafts and create art. We’re not talking about grabbing some crayons and settling down for a quiet hour with a coloring book (if only!). Instead, they live for truly making things, and gathering supplies to create a “masterpiece,” as they call it. 

While I love their creativity and imagination, I’m always looking for ways to balance their artistic spirits with my desire for finding projects that don’t leave my living room covered in paint, glitter, and whatever that unknown sticky blue substance by the fireplace is. (Is it clay? Slime? Some sort of hybrid?) So when my editors at Scholastic asked if we wanted to check out the Klutz Jr. My Fantastic Foam kit, we jumped (the boys literally) at the chance.  

Read on for my review of this craft foam kit, plus fun pictures of foam superheroes, tacos, and much more!

Once the kit arrived, I realized I might be even more excited than the kids. I’ve always loved the idea of craft foam pieces as a project because they’re quiet and low-maintenance, but every time I’ve bought the giant bags of foam from the craft store, the kids never seem to know what to do with them. After making a basic house or tree they quickly get bored, and I spend the next week vacuuming teeny foam triangles up from the rug. 

The Klutz Jr.: My Fantastic Foam kit wins hands-down over those bags of random shapes thanks to its awesome book filled with tons of ideas to get their imaginations pumping. It also comes with perfectly-sized paper and glue for piecing the foam together, making it a great kit to toss in a bag for a trip to Grandma’s house.

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After a particularly long day, when the kids still had energy but I was running on diet soda and hope, I plopped down on the rug with the boys, thinking foam creations could be a great way to spend a calm evening together before bed. 

I thought they would need my help getting started, but the foam kit is super intuitive. All of the foam designs are done via pictures, so they really didn’t need me for anything more than cheering them on. In fact, I think a child as young as four could tackle this craft and walk away smiling. 

Although the book is mainly pictures, I was happy when the kids read the quick, helpful tips about glue on their own. Yay for sneaking in some reading! 

Logan has dreams of becoming a baker, so naturally he headed straight to the food section of the booklet to create a cake. We realized it’s a good idea to assemble your pieces first before starting to glue to make sure you have the right sizes. The first cherry he used to top a foam cake was way too small, but swapping it for the right size was an easy fix. My kids didn’t know it, but they were getting an impromptu lesson on shape recognition and spatial awareness as they played.

Meanwhile, Jeremy fell in love with the airplane on the package and decided he just had to make it right away. 

This foam kit is fantastic for kids who are perfectionists about their artwork. Jeremy placed one of the wings in the wrong position at first. Sometimes a project not turning out the way he envisions can spark a crying jag and him feeling bad about himself, so I braced for impact, but instead of getting upset, he was able to move the wing and re-stick it in the right place with no problems. 

We did have a minor disaster at one point when I sneezed and scattered their works in progress, but they forgave me and graciously allowed me to make a super adorable taco, “even though it’s not Tuesday.”

The kit offers great suggestions for creations but makes it clear that kids should feel free to make whatever they want. Since there was only one booklet, it wasn’t long before the kids were branching out to come up with their own cool foam inventions. For instance, say hello to Mr. Heart Man and his ballerina friend: 

Turns out foam crafting was a great way to boost their confidence in their creative skills. Logan has a habit of asking for help with his artwork or saying he can’t do certain things, but not with this kit! After making his cake, he was giving me tips as a self-appointed expert. “You have to glue the hair first,” he told me as he put together a ballerina. Roger that, kiddo. 

I’d recommend it for any parent who is struggling with a child saying they “can’t” do artwork on their own. The easy-to-follow directions and lack of scissors make it a really approachable way to make things without Mom or Dad having to help. 

I was thrilled that the Klutz Jr.: My Fantastic Foam kit kept the kids busy for an entire evening – in fact, we never even turned on their tablets that night. And when bedtime rolled around, it only took us a few minutes to gather up the unused foam pieces and tuck them back in the box for next time. 

I thought we’d put their finished pieces on display and that would be the end of it.

But the boys decided they weren’t done with the fun. The next morning, they created an “Art Gallery” where they took turns picking out pieces and then trading each other for their favorites. Did I understand the rules? Not completely. But it did confirm my suspicions that this kit was an absolute hit with my kids.

Browse a full selection of Klutz kits to encourage independent play at The Scholastic Store Online.

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