To say I was super duper looking forward to this Monster Shrinky Dink kit thing would be an overstatement. Sure, I agreed to the review, and sure it looked like there was the possibility of fun, but my former experience with shrinky dink plastic made me a little weary.
This kit may have changed my mind.
First, I would like to tell you how excited bug was to open our package.
What I hadn't realized initially was how comprehensive the craft kit is. I was expecting some monster shapes and perhaps a little card stock background. But there were lots of fun ways to embellish your monsters and put them together - googly eyes, pipe cleaners, colorful mini brads -
as well as all the tools you'd need in the process - little plastic stands, craft glue and colored pencils. I hadn't realized you could use colored pencils on shrinky dinks and would have attempted marker yet again (as I did with the aforementioned abysmal shrinky dink failure) so I'm really glad those came with it.
Now, I know that many of you, like me, have all of these items at home anyway. So why use the kit?
I'll tell you why. Do you know how awesome it was to get the box out, shake out the instructions and have everything I needed RIGHT THERE without having to go on a safari to find my craft scissors, markers, colored pencils, pipe cleaners and ESPECIALLY glue?? (Not to mention the fact that the glue was really good stuff... I mean, held fast on immediate contact... ok, so maybe be careful with that??) Do you? Let me tell you. It was AWESOME. Usually, by the time I have all my craft stuff out for a project I've lost one or all of the children's attentions with no hope of return. Not this time. The only things I needed to provide were the baking sheet, aluminum foil, and oven. And let's face it, if they tried to cram all of THAT in the box, shipping would be astronomical.
ALSO, I loved the pre-punched holes. I loved that all the shapes were already cut out. No need to fight with my 3 year old over the scissors! No need to track down my hole punch and figure out where to best punch holes... we could get right to creating!
So we did.
We had a good time coloring the shrinky dinks.
There were very clear instructions on which side to color - not to mention the fact that the colored pencils really only showed on one side anyway. Even mini colored some. And dropped colored pencils all over.
And bug loved using the little pencil sharpener that was provided just as much as coloring - weird kid. (On another note, I do not own a pencil sharpener. Well, now I do. Good thing it came in the box.)
Now, here is where I mention that YES - I realize the age on the box says 7-97. (So all you old ladies out there are out of luck. Actually, if you're 98 and reading this I'd say you have ALL the luck. You don't need shrinky dinks.) And YES - I know neither of my children are 7. So, yeah. The whole attention span thing was a bit of a challenge. We did this project in stages - whereas with older children you'd be able to bust it out in one or two craft sessions. There were a TON of pieces to color and shrink. I mean a TON. Which is super cool. But bug pooped out. So I was prodding him and coloring many of them myself. If you've got lots of kids, there are PLENTY of shrinky dinks to go around.
When we were done coloring, there were very clear instructions on which way to place them on the baking sheet. Phew. I was beginning to feel I would actually avoid another crisis with shrinkies.
bug got to sit and watch them shrink up in the oven, which we all know is the most fun part.
I got a little worried as the larger pieces curled up all funny... but I let them cook longer and
they flattened themselves out! Catastrophe averted!
EXCEPT - for one casualty. The mad scientist. Poor guy. He curled all up on himself. In the instructions it clearly states you should be watching your shrinkies while they bake in order to intervene early enough should the whole curling/sticking to itself thing occur. Of course, I couldn't spare the three minutes and missed the process... therefore couldn't pull the piece apart no matter how hard I tried.
RIP little mad scientist. You will be missed.
I LOVED how vivid and bright the colors were. Even the lightest of scribbles was made more vibrant by baking. And kids like bright colors.
Next came assembling the monster pieces. bug did this with
There are no instructions for individual monsters - which I liked better because you could do so many different things! Plus, if you get stuck you can always look to the box for monster ideas.
And, of course, setting up the lab. I was a little sad to glue shrinky dinks to the walls and such, you know, my whole "fear of the permanent" thing... but DANG did that monster lab look awesome when we were done.
We had four legged monsters, flying monsters, warning signs, eyeballs in a jar, eyeballs all over the table, brains...
I can only guess what those bones were from... (shudder)
And this guy was my favorite. His leg... er, tentacle curled up while baking and I actually really like it that way. Doesn't it give him a lot of character?
While bug was napping, I set the monsters up in a "scene."
When he woke up, I explained the scenario to him and let him and mr go to town with the monsters - screaming at each other, crashing beakers, reading through monster recipes...
I do believe that smile meant SUCCESS.
Want to have some MONSTER fun?!?
ps. I did receive a Monster Lab Shrinky Dink Kit for review. I did not receive any form of compensation for this review. The opinions expressed above are mine. All mine! Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha!!!! (um, er... please excuse me. I'm still channeling my inner mad scientist.)