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Fostering Creativity in Children Through Arts & Crafts

They say that creativity is the freest form of self-expression. There's really no better feeling in the world, than being able to express yourself openly without judgement!

While this is important for people of all ages, it's especially important for children as creative experiences at an early age can help kids express themselves, and cope with their feelings. Creativity fuels the ability to problem-solve, innovate, and explore new and unfamiliar areas!

Here at Ann Williams, we are passionate about crafting for this very reason. We believe that through crafting, kids learn invaluable life skills. Crafting not only encourages kids to make their own choices and explore, which builds self-esteem, but helps them learn about their own uniqueness and individuality. 

We love these suggestions from Parents Magazine on ways to foster creativity in your children when doing arts & crafts:

Prepare for a mess. Set up an art space where your kid can be free to experiment - and get messy!

Avoid giving direction. Don't tell your kid what to make or how to make it, rather encourage them to explore.

Speak specifically about art. When talking to your child about their art project, try to be precise in your comments, saying things like "I see you used alot of purple yarn, why did you choose that color?"

Explore your child's process. Often the best way to encourage conversation about your child's art is simply to say, "Tell me about what you made," or ask, "Did you have fun making it?"

Let it be. When a child finishes a project, don't suggest additions or changes. It's important for a child to feel that what they created is enough.

Our Monthly Craft Box subscription is a perfect way to infuse creativity into your daily and weekly routines. What could more exciting than receiving a surprise in the mail every month? Monthly craft kits filled with new arts and crafts projects to try!

We offer crafts for children ages 6-8, children ages 9-12, teen crafts, and even crafts for adults! Get 30% off your first box when you sign up for a craft monthly subscription with code OMGSURPRISE. What are you waiting for? Let's get crafty!

January 12, 2017


Posted in

Rubber Band Game - Fun Family Game Night

New activities can encourage your family to connect with one another more often. The magic really happens when you interact with your kids and engage in new ways - instead of being attached to a screen! Oh, those were the days...

Well, with fun in mind, we created the Rubber Band Game as a way for families to connect with one another - perfect for Family Game Night! With over 20 ways to play, it will surely become a family favorite in no time. 

Stack 'em up!

It’s super easy and there are over 20 ways to play! Stack the numbered blocks, roll the dice, take aim, and try to knock down your numbered block to win.

Knock 'em down

Are you skilled at rubber bands? Will you double over laughing? It doesn’t matter—it’s knock-down fun for friends and family.

Fun for all ages

From beginner to advanced, for two to eight players, for a party or a rainy day, it’s a game everyone will want to play! Well, what are you waiting for? Get your own Rubber Band Game for the family here on our website because this is the stuff that memories are made of!


Be Kind to Humankind Week

Kindness is something all of us could use a little more of, which is why we love “Be Kind To Humankind week.” It was created in August of 1988 by Lorraine Jara in Toms River, New Jersey. She created the celebration in light of an upsetting story she read in the paper, you can read more about it on her website. She says,

It is basically a week of reflection and kind thoughts of others to make this world a better place. Of course we suggest practicing kindness daily, but this is the week you can take it to the next level. 

 We love spreading kindness with thoughtful crafts and kind words, and we will be celebrating this August 25-31 along with people all over the world. Performing acts of kindness can reduce anxiety, lower blood pressure, and simply make you a happier human being, so kindness can be seen as it’s own gift!

 The week of kindness consists of seven days, each with it’s own unique theme which you can find here. There are suggestions on the site for ways to participate in each day’s theme, but here are some other suggestions for random acts of kindness that you can use every day:

            -Send someone a hand written note 

            -Put some coins in someone else’s parking meter

            -Walk your friend’s dog

            -Open the door for someone

            -Leave sticky notes with kind words like “you make a difference” or “you have a great smile” in random places

            -Compliment a stranger

            -Pick up litter

            -Help someone with yardwork

            -Make a gift for a friend for no special reason

            -Let someone go in front of you in line.


Need a little more help teaching your kids how important it is to be kind? We’re proud that our Craft-tastic Kindness Kit recently won ASTRA’s “Best Toys for Kids” Award for 2016. It includes 8 crafts that make it easy and fun for kids to spread kindness around.

How are you planning on spreading kindness this week and in the future?


Handmade Holidays: Gifts to make & share

Handmade Holidays Gifts to make and share

Here at Ann Williams Group, we’re all about Handmade Holidays! We love giving and receiving hand made gifts, so we’ve linked up to some tutorials with lots of ideas to help you make your own heart-felt gifts. Think you don’t have enough time? Think again! Our kits make it easy to make a gift for everyone on your list. These gifts can be made by anyone from eight to adult, although kids younger than eight could use a little help from an adult.

Craft-tastic paper bowl kit and finger crochet kit

The Paper Bowl Kit has everything you need to make three different sized bowls. Fill them with a few small items, wrap them up, and you’re the star! Make a mini-manicure bowl with a bottle of nail polish, little nail file, and a mini lotion. Or how ‘bout a movie night bowl, with a gift card for Redbox, a bag of microwave popcorn, and a box of candy? The bowls are perfect for jewelry, too, so you could gift it with a bracelet or necklace. Or, just fill it with wrapped candy, a gift anyone would appreciate! The bowls are quick to make, but do require drying time. Watch our step-by-step video tutorial.


The Finger Crochet Kit comes with everything you’ll need to make a scarf, two headbands, and three bracelets—all from one little packet and all made by hand. Six presents in one box, and you’ll be done in no time at all!

Loopdedoo Bracelet maker and Craft-tastic String Art

If you have lots of friends, the Loopdedoo lets you make bracelets for all of them in minutes! Tie a bracelet onto a candy cane, Chapstick, or a bottle of nail polish for an extra special little gift.


Our String Art Kits are fun to make and share, too. Follow our designs to create a heart, “hi,” and peace sign, (or rocket, star, and planet), or personalize it and use your own design. Each kit comes with three canvases, so you have three chances to make a unique gift! These would also make a fun friend activity, for you and two friends. #bondingtime!

Loopdeloom weaving loom

The gift possibilities are endless with the Loopdeloom! Make something simple like a mug rug or pot holder, or get more detailed with our three tutorials:

Is your friend the one who is constantly using their phone or iPod? Make them a special case to keep it safe! You can personalize the case so it will be something they love. If you have more time, you can make a tablet or e-reader case using the same instructions! Check out our video tutorial on making a phone case.

You can make fingerless gloves to keep your friend’s hands toasty this winter. Why not personalize them with some embroidery for an extra special touch! Watch our video tutorial now.

If you really don’t have much time left, you can make a wrist cuff bracelet! Make it in your friends’ favorite colors, or use their team colors and make them something they can wear to the game! Here is our video tutorial on making wrist cuffs.

Craft-tastic pom pom kit and mini pom pom kit

To decorate your gifts, make a few pom poms with the Pom Pom Kit or Mini Pom Pom Kit and tie them on top. Voila! Handmade wrapping made cute and fun! The pom pom kits also make fun presents such as tassels for key chains or purses, necklaces, even scarves!  Search for “pom pom crafts” and you’ll see the options are endless.


 Happy Crafting!

Share the Joy this Holiday Season

Here at Ann Williams Group, we get into the holiday spirit by crafting presents for our loved ones. We also do so with charitable donations.

We’re proud to be a national corporate sponsor of Toys for Tots, a top-rated charity with a mission of providing toys, books, and other gifts to less fortunate children. In the past year, we’ve donated over $100,000 in craft kits to Toys for Tots, both nationally and locally in Oakland County, Michigan.

Join us in supporting this worthy cause. From now until Thursday, December 24, we’ll donate one product to Toys for Tots for each and every product you buy from our website.

Orders placed by 12 pm EST on Monday, December 21 will arrive at your door by Christmas Eve via regular ground shipment, so shop now to share the joy!

If you’d like to donate other toys or books to Toys for Tots, you can find a local drop off location at their website, where you can search by city and state.

December 17, 2015


Posted in Charity, Toys for Tots

7 Stocking Stuffers (under $12.99!)

Find something for everyone on your list with our list of fun and inexpensive stocking stuffers! (All of them are under $12.99!)

1. Iron-on Pencil Case Kit: Ages 6+
Kids can personalize this zippered canvas case with the included iron on shapes. They just need to arrange the shapes on the case in any design they like, then an adult can iron the shapes in place. Kids will have a fun place for their pens and pencils, and they can decorate the front and back and still have iron-on shapes left over for other projects! 
2. Mini Pom Pom Kit: Ages 8+
Everything's tiny, except the fun in this kit. This kit includes a clever bamboo tool that makes mini pom poms and tassels for jewelry, purses, headbands, belts—plus all the thread and instructions to get them started.
3. Boho Hair Tie Kit: Ages 8+
Fashionable kids who follow the latest trends know boho is big this year. When finished, they can wear this hair tie as a headband or hair wrap. It has bright feathers, sparkly silver thread, and charms—all of which will take their hair from boo-hoo to boho! This stocking stuffer is perfect for teens and tweens too!
4. Dream Catcher Necklace Kit: Ages 8+
Kid will love wearing a piece of jewelry that they made themselves! This dreamy necklace is easy to make and love, and includes everything they will need. 
Does your favorite kid have a Loopdedoo? The Loopdedoo expansion kits fit perfectly in a stocking and give kids everything they need to make necklaces, headbands, and bracelets!
5. Loopdedoo Bracelet Expansion Kit: Ages 8+

With four silver toned bracelets and thread, kids can design and create four sparklicious bracelets using their Loopdedoo. Boom! They have new new accessories in minutes!

6. Loopdedoo Necklace Expansion Kit: Ages 8+

This kit won’t disappoint! Using the silver-toned rings and links, kids can swap, mix, and combine necklace sections. They can wear them short or combine them to create longer necklaces or even belts. The kit comes with enough thread and links to make four necklaces or one belt.


7. Loopdedoo Headband Expansion Kit: Ages 8+

Ahhh-mazing hair is just a few minutes away. Kids can design and create four stretchy headbands in no time with this expansion kit. And because the headbands are adjustable, they’ll fit anyone comfortably. So chic!


Make learning fun: Toys for fostering STEM skills

Stem/Steam toys for fostering learning

The hottest trend in toys isn’t based on the newest cartoon character, it’s STEM. STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. It’s these skills that kids must adopt in order to stay relevant in today’s tech-centric world. At Ann Williams Group, we’re advocates of STEM and the expansion to STEAM, adding the A for arts. After all, our CEO is a Mechanical Engineer* and Mom! Many of our toys and craft kits can help improve STEM/STEAM skill sets by keeping them so engaged they don’t even know they’re learning. Like what? Glad you asked!


Craft-Tastic and Loopdeloom Go Full STEAM Ahead

Craft-tastic cardboard sculpture kit

The Cardboard Sculpture Kit takes advantage of kid’s natural interest in building toys, and allows them to create structures that are often taller than they are! Kids learn about engineering skills, proportion and balance as they build and play. It is great for using with other toys, making a great place for cars and little play characters to hang out. The play possibilities are endless.


Craft-tastic string art kits

The String Art Kit (1) and String Art Kit II (3) come with patterns that kids can follow, or they can make up their own. Either way, they will need use puzzle and problem solving skills to fill in gaps in the string art as they complete the designs. Kids have to assemble the 3-d String Art Kit (2) before they can string it, bringing construction skills into play.


Loopdeloom projects

The Loopdeloom is an open-ended kit that comes with basic instructions and supplies. We provide some video tutorials for projects, but we encourage kids to make up their own patterns for objects they want to weave. Kids need to use math to set up the loom and figure out patterns, as well as engineering skills to “build” their 3-d projects such as messenger bags and stuffed animals. 


Craft-tastic mini pom pom kit and Craft-tastic pom pom kit

The Pom Pom Kit and Mini Pom Pom Kit require kids to use math to figure out how many pom poms they will make and how they need to set up the tool in order to do so. Once they have made the pom poms, there are many crafts they can “build” with them. Will they make a scarf? A sculpture? A necklace? It’s up to them!


One More Cool Thing To Know….

Fun fact*: Our CEO invented the patented Loopdedoo and Loopdeloom thanks to her Mechanical Engineering background. While the toys may look simple, it took a lot of sketches, prototypes and testing to make them a reality. They both incorporate a combination of moving parts, gears and levers/knobs. She was an avid crafter as a child!


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