Abby has always been fascinated with magic tricks and balloon modelling, but she never got the chance to try doing them. So when we were given the opportunity to review a couple of Tobar's new crafty books, we chose their Balloon Modelling and Magic Tricks books (rrp £4.99 each). They have many more in the range as well, including Learn to Juggle and Fortune Teller.
I like the format of the Tobar crafty books. They've included a Practical Tips section at the beginning, and instructions were clear and easy to read. The books came with balloons/ cards, which is great as we can just dive into it instead of having to buy our own props first.
We especially like the Balloon Modelling book. There are lots of models to make, some more challenging than others. The basic was the poodle of course, and we had fun making it, although practise is well needed for the correct proportion! The instruction comes with approximate length for each section so it's good to have a ruler with you if you aren't very good at estimating like me!
When I tried making the poodle, I was all squirmish as I was really scared that it'll pop! Abby, on the other hand, just went for it and twisted it around confidently. At the end I had to tell her to stay away from me! She struggled a bit with the modelling as sometimes you'll have to hold onto 3 twisted sections before twisting 2 of it together (the ears or legs, for example), but she absolutely loved it.
Both Abby and Clay also love to pump the balloons up, unfortunately the pump supplied with the book wasn't really good and air kept leaking out from it. A balloon pump is really cheap to buy though and they are usually very good and easy to use. it's very handy to have one at home especially when you do hold quite a bit of parties.
The Magic Tricks book on the other hand wasn't really for us. The instructions and tips are still clear and easy to understand, but some tricks require a secret assistant to do, or others require props that you have to source yourself, for example, 2 similar looking coins, one slightly smaller than the other. And with all magic tricks, practice makes perfect, but patience isn't in Abby's character.
Overall, we do like the affordable crafty books range from Tobar, and there is a good variety too. We will be buying more balloons for the Balloon Modelling for sure!