My kids recently have become enamored of stickers - and I don't mean just in albums like when I was a kid. No, their latest craze involves tiny, square foam stickers that they use to create mosaics. The crafts are set up like a pain by number - #1s get yellow stickers, #2s get orange, etc. My son's latest set, in which he creates wild safari animals such as rhinos and lions, has 14 different colors. While his masterpieces come with little sticky tabs that he can use to hang his pictures on a nail or thumb tack, my daughter's is more functional: a jewelry box. I have to admit, I'd have been crazy about these as a kid: her foam stickers are covered with shiny reflective material in a rainbow of colors, plus her kit includes beautiful stick-on rhinstones in various shapes: stars, flowers, jewels, etc. Her jewelry box came with a pre-outlined butterfly on the top, and as she puts the foam pieces on the corresponding numbers, it's really starting to look terrific.

The only downsides here are that once you stick the pieces, they're stuck - you'll tear the surface of the underlying craft if you try to reposition them. Of course, as stickers, they also are prone to eventually drying out and falling off - but for my daughter's princess crown craft, that didn't happen for over a year. Also, beware that the colors on the package may not exactly correspond to the shades of stickers within (also true of hair dye packaging). I felt the world's biggest fool today when I thought my son's safari animal kit was missing the sheet of dark pink stickers and I raced back to the store, only to discover that all 14 colors were in fact there - but the light pink was actually peach and the dark pink was light pink. Argh!

If your child has the patience to carefully position little stickers, this is a great rainy day project. My kids (ages 4 and 5) have more sit-still ability than many in their age range, but even for them completing a whole project like this is hard at one time. So I keep baggies handy to store their extra sticker sheets so we can gradually complete the mosaics. My son loves his numbers, so at first covering them up with a sticker was a bummer for him, but he soon grew satisfied with how puffy and colorful his artwork became.

If you have other crafty ideas or suggestions about these projects, feel free to comment - I'd love to spread the word!