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Creating With Colors Review & Giveaway: Simple Illustrated Storybook [CLOSED]

Gummy Lump is a leading online retailer of creative, developmental, and educational toys made by respected brands, such as Melissa & Doug, Alex Toys, Guidecraft, Learning Resources, and more.  When I had the chance to select a few arts and crafts products to use in my Creating With Colors series, it was easy to put together a project that would be simple, educational, and engaging for my children.

Today's Project:  Simple Illustrated Storybook

Ask your child to think of a simple fictional or factual story, which can be told with a series of one picture and one sentence (or two short sentences) pages.

Supplies Needed:

1)  Alex Toys Draw Like a Pro
2)  Melissa & Doug Storytelling Paper
3)  Stapler

(Click any image to enlarge)

Step 1.  Map out your child's story and decide how many pages his or her book will be.  Then fold 1 sheet of Storytelling Paper (lined side facing out) for every 2 pages you need for the book.  Then fold 1 sheet of Storytelling Paper (blank side facing out) in half for the cover.

Step 2.  Insert the wheel or the slide your child would like to use into the projector.  Adjust the focus and ask your child to trace the image with the black marker included with the Draw Like A Pro, while holding the paper firmly with one hand.  (Make sure the first page has the folded edge on the right.)

Tip #1:  If your child is unsure of his or her ability to trace, you can always use a pencil.  That way, mistakes will not be permanent.

Tip #2:  If your child has trouble holding the paper still, use a tiny bit of masking tape to hold the opposite corners down.

Step 3.  When all the desired images have been traced onto the appropriate pages and the front cover, ask your child to fill in the background and to color in each page.

Step 4.  Then ask your child to write out the text that should correspond to the illustration on each page.

Tip #3:  Although my son did not take this suggestion, I think it would be smart to write all the text out with pencil first and then go back over it with marker.  That way there will be no surprises if a sentence is too long to fit on the page or if there are spelling errors.

Step 5.  Now place all the pages in order and then place them inside the cover.  Use a stapler to put a minimum of 3 staples along the edge.  (Be sure to put the staples in far enough to secure all the pages, but not so far in as to prevent the pages from opening properly.)

Here is the result of our project . . . 

My son was very pleased with how his book turned out.  I think we should have done this project in more than one sitting because I could see how his tracing started off impeccable and then gradually got sloppier.  It was pretty neat how the Draw Like A Pro allowed my son to put the same head on different bodies.  This makes it easy for a child to show the same character in different poses throughout the book.

Since I did this project with our 7 year old son, I also requested the Create-a-Face Pad and the Create-a-Person Pad, both from Melissa & Doug.  I thought these two products offered by Gummy Lump would be fun for our 4 year old twins and I was right.  Both pads help our preschoolers to really think about where one facial feature is in relation to another.  They also teach them to think about details, like adding shoelaces or buttons to the people.


If you have never visited the Gummy Lump Blog, 2011 is the year to start!  This year, they are featuring a new craft perfect for preschoolers almost daily in their 300 Crafts for Kids in 2011 series.  If you try any of these fun crafts, make sure you post your completed project on the Gummy Lump Facebook page to be entered into a weekly prize drawing.  I have seen many projects that are perfect for Easter, Mother's Day, and Springtime in general.  Here are a few I would like to try with my children:

Visit the Gummy Lump Blog to view all the crafts that have been posted to date.  I believe there are approximately 80 projects so far!

Thank you to Gummy Lump for providing complimentary product samples to be used for this project and for providing additional product for our contest prize.

What you can win:
One lucky reader will receive their choice of arts and crafts supplies from (up to $50 in value).

This giveaway is open to U.S. entries only. You do not need to be a blogger to enter, but you must have a valid email address and be age 18 years or older. If you enter anonymously and do not include a valid email address in your comment entries, I will not be able to notify you should you win this random drawing.

How to Gain Entries:
Browse the list of 300 Crafts for Kids in 2011 by Gummy Lump. Then leave a comment telling me the name of one craft that looks fun to make. You MUST do this to be eligible to win this contest.

Extra Entries:
1)  For 5 extra entries, leave a relevant comment on one of my non-giveaway posts. Then leave FIVE separate comments with the name of the post on which you commented. You will earn 5 extra entries for each different non-contest post you comment on.

2)  For 5 extra entries, enter one of my other contests. Leave FIVE separate comments here telling me which contest you entered. You will earn 5 extra entries for each contest you enter.

3)  For 10 extra entries, subscribe to the Gummy Lump Blog by email (right sidebar). Then come back here and leave TEN separate comments telling me you did.

4)  For 1 extra entry each, if you are a Friend of mine on Facebook and/or if you have "liked" the 3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires Facebook page, then leave a separate comment here telling me so with the link to your Facebook profile.

5)  For 1 extra entry each, follow Gummy Lump on Twitter and/or "Like" Gummy Lump on Facebook. Then leave a separate comment for each with the link to your Twitter or Facebook profile.

6)  Follow me on Twitter. Then leave a separate comment with the link to your Twitter profile.

7)  Tweet about this giveaway linking back to this post. Then come back here and leave the link to your tweet in a separate comment. You may do this once per day until the end of the contest.

8)  Subscribe to this blog's feed. Or you can follow me through Blogger or subscribe via email (widget is on sidebar). Then leave a separate comment telling me you did so.

9)  Subscribe to A Blog of Goodies' feed (the sister site to 3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires). Then leave a separate comment telling me you did so.

(All entries will be verified prior to awarding this prize.)

Random Drawing:
This contest will be closed on Monday, May 2nd, 2011 at 11:59pm EST. A random number drawing will be held shortly after. The winner will be announced here and will be contact via email or through their blog. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new number will be drawn.

Good luck in the drawing!