The best endorsement for this book is not what I can write about it but what I can show you. This is what our five-year-old daughter thought of the book. When I went to get the book off the shelf to take some pictures for the review, it had disappeared, and this is where I found it:

And this is what happened when I tried to take it back for review.

So as you can see, this was a very popular one in our house. I only managed to get the book back by promising to do the butterfly, dazzling decorations craft with Evey & Gabriel right away – The pictures of our crafting efforts are at the end of this post because right now I want to tell you about the book.

Outdoor Crafts from Dorling Kindersley is a collection of fun projects that children can make and do outside – some projects are suitable for kiddos on their own, others need adult supervision & input. Outdoor Crafts incorporates natural materials that children can find around the house, in the recycling,  in their backyard, or that they’ve grown themselves in a garden or pot.

This book is divided into three sections — Make It, Cook It, and Create It. Interspersed among these elements, there are also pages about how plants grow, which plants to grow for a fragrant garden or a container garden, bug quizzes and much more.

In Make It you & the kiddos can create labels for the garden, decorate flower pots, and build a “Garden Buddy” from tin cans, plastic cups and any other assorted items you might find around the house or in the recycling. There are ten projects in this section, but many of them – such as the dazzling decorations craft can be adapted in any number of ways.

In Cook It, children can get recipes for herb and cheese muffins, blueberry cheesecake in a glass, lemon ices and more using the crops from the garden. I particularly liked the herb tea made from the herb garden planted in a suitcase with flags of the world to denote where each herb came from.

And finally, in Create It, you can learn how to make a Leaf Stepping Stone path in the garden, make paper from corn husks and so much more.

In Outdoor Crafts the projects are illistrated with the easy-to-follow instructions and step-by-step photography that are Dorling Kindersley’s trade mark. Kids of all ages can take part and create beautiful crafts they’ll be proud to display, and they don’t need a huge garden, or even any garden at all to enjoy it.

Our “Dazzling Decorations” Craft

Just to make sure that the outdoor crafts were really as family friendly as they appear, we chose to try the foil flowers and birds.

Following along with the instructions, our experience went like this:

We bought some thin foil trays from the dollar store.

Then we traced our items onto the tray in perminant marker.

Then mom cut them out to avoid any slipages with the scissors.

Gabriel made a flower and we used a pencil to make markings and shape the petals a little

Evey made a butterfly and made the details in the same way, with a pencil.

Then, both little ones coloured in their creations, using permanent markers. They even managed to get almost all of the marker on their art and not on themselves.

And these are their finished masterpieces.

Our Verdict?

This Outdoor Crafts book from Dorling Kindersley is not only a great book to have to hand during those long weeks of summer. It is also a clearly laid out, easy to follow book which lends itself well to readers of all ages and abilities. Get your copy ASAP