Source: Cra-Z-Art/the Toy Insider

Colors, sparkles, pom poms, and a fantastic at-home activity — crafty kids will find all of that and more in the new Shimmer ‘n Sparkle 5-in-1 Ultimate Knitting Station from Cra-Z-Art!

Designed for kids ages 8 and up, this kit comes with all of the tools and materials kids need to create five loom knitting projects: a hat, a scarf, fingerless texting gloves, a mini purse, and a decorative pom-pom.

For those who aren’t familiar with the term, loom knitting is an easy-to-learn form of knitting where, instead of using knitting needles, the knitter wraps their yarn around a series of pegs, then uses a hook tool to pull the yarn loops over each other. The kit comes with a colorful guide that explains how to loom knit with clear graphics, but there are plenty of helpful YouTube videos if kids need a visual guide, too (including this Cra-Z-Art video featuring a previous loom knitting set). The good news is that the two-step wrap-and-hook process is easy to pick up, especially with an adult’s assistance — no previous knitting experience required!

In addition to explaining the basic concept of loom knitting, the guide sheets included in this kit walk kids through every step of creating their projects. Especially considering how much information the pages include, they are very well organized and easy to follow, complete with diagrams, helpful tips, and illustrations that show kids exactly which tools they will need to use for each of the projects. A particularly helpful feature is that the three biggest projects (the hat, the gloves, and the purse) are clearly labeled as “easy,” “hard,” and “challenging” so kids can progress to more difficult projects as their knitting skills improve with practice.

A started hat project, using the Shimmer ‘n Sparkle 5-in-1 Ultimate Knitting Station | Source: the Toy Insider

Each of the projects requires a different loom or tool, but the kit comes with literally everything kids will need, with the exception of scissors (to cut the yarn) and tape (which the guide recommends using — and I do too! — to hold the yarn in place on the loom while they knit).

This set is definitely designed for older kids and tweens because it requires a significant amount of time and patience. Especially when kids are first learning to loom knit, the yarn might slip off of the loops, which can be frustrating because it means they have to redo some of their work. (Using tape to hold the yarn definitely helps with this). As for time, the hat, for example, requires kitting up to 60 rows — that means wrapping and looping around the largest loom 60 times. If each circuit around the loom takes about 5 minutes, that time adds up. (I timed one of my rows, and it took me 4.5 minutes).

The great thing about this set, though, is that the projects are easy to pause and pick back up later — just be sure kids write down which row number they are on! It is also easy to throw any of the looms and a spool of yarn into a backpack or purse for crafting on the go — an in-depth project like this is a great time-killer on car trips or airplane rides.

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Another plus, which differentiates this kit a bit from the previous Shimmer ‘n Sparkle knitting set, is that it comes with various decorative elements, including a glittery bow, a flower, and a butterfly that kids can adhere to any of their knitting projects to give them a bit more style and a personal touch. Also, the patience and creativity that kids will use to knit these projects really pay off. Once they finish a project, kids will have an accessory that they can wear and/or use with the sense of pride that comes from making something yourself.

Finally, if kids really get the hang of loom knitting and want to create additional projects, they can keep using the looms and tools that come in this set. All they’ll need is some additional yarn (the set comes with enough for its five projects), which is available to purchase at most major retailers and at craft stores. This set offers a lot of crafting value for $25!

The Shimmer ‘n Sparkle 5-in-1 Ultimate Knitting Station will be available later this spring. Get ready for fabulous knit fashion!