Two great kids’ outdoor craft books: The Little Book of Whittling by Chris Lubkemann and Rock Art by Denise Scicluna

OK, it’s that time of night when I have five minutes to sit and chill before sorting out the carnage that is my school-holiday-house. So – a shout-out tonight, for two fab art ‘n’ craft books that we bought for the kids over Christmas.

The first is Rock Art by Denise Scicluna. There’s not a lot to say except that it’s a gorgeous little book full of ideas on how to paint rocks and pebbles. We bought it with some acrylic paints (pots and brushes, and fine tipped pens), and raided the garden for a few stones. It is exactly what you’d expect: just a sweet book full of lovely ideas, but the kids adore it and the little rocks they painted were really pretty.


The second book is The Little Book of Whittling by Chris Lubkemann and this one has really got me going: it’s great for kids and adults.

Midwinter is a gorgeous time to throw a log on the fire and all sit around chatting and whittling sticks. The book covers a whole range of things – how to make spoons, knives, little stick men, and a lot of animals. There are clear photographic instructions on how to make each item and it’s way easier than I’d expected. My twelve-year-old and I had never attempted this before but we (had a long chat about how to use a knife and) grabbed a Gerber, a Leatherman, and a couple of sticks out of the hedge. It was great fun – we followed the instructions, which couldn’t be easier as they’re all photos, and he made a little wooden knife, while I attempted a small, ornamental dog’s head. I won’t be winning any prizes for artistry but it was really nice just to sit and learn a new skill with him.

So if you’re stuck for craft ideas and fancy a couple of books that will remind you of summer beaches and sunny mountain-tops, while still enjoying the warmth of your sitting room, then these are two that I’d recommend.


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