After nearly 40 years of teaching, Diane Robbins knows the value of saving time. In Time Saving Art Projects for the Busy Teacher, she hopes to help other teachers by providing reproducible templates for creating over 20 seasonal paper crafts. Each reinforces skills such as following directions and strengthens eye/hand coordination through scissor skills, measuring, coloring, and folding.
With a master’s degree in special education, Robbins used art activities to help special needs students develop important skills. The projects presented here are suitable and aimed at kindergarten through sixth grade students, who can choose from a cute paper acorn person, not-so-scary black cat, turkey, igloo, Santa or other fall and winter creations.
With only one page of instructions, this book appears simple enough. However, upon closer inspection, the format presents obstacles. The templates are not arranged in a logical order, making them tedious to find. Detailed instructions would have been helpful for piecing together the more complicated projects, such as the Owl in the Moon. And while Robbins encourages teachers to “enlarge or reduce the size of the patterns,” she doesn’t indicate which templates for which projects may need adjusting. Most discouraging is that the templates can’t be quickly copied and used because many have letters stamped on them, which would mar the final project.
At a mere 23 pages, the book could have been expanded to include specific assembly directions for each figure, variations on materials, and to place each template in its own space with the letter stamp outside. This would have been far more preferable to what appears here.
With some perseverance, Robbins’ projects are fun and will surely bring smiles to the kids. However, with the plethora of free printables, free e-books, and craft ideas available on the Internet, many teachers may find this short book of simple templates an unnecessary expense.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.