I recently came across a cozy little toy store which seemed to carry mostly toys and kits from HearthSong. I had recieved the HearthSong catalog before but it didn’t do the stuff justice, it was so much fun. They had kits for weaving, spinning, knitting, beading, making lip balm, body glitter and even bath fizzies. Costumes, balloon animal kits, old fashioned toys, I was delighted. Some of my favorites: make your own candy jewelry kit and lollipop kit, potholder loom (which my mom kept in the car for road trips when I was young, my relatives loved recieving these, at least they always seemed very happy), and the paint your own matreshka kit (just think of the horror you could inflict!). There is so much more I get all excited over like woodburning, fabric dying, candle making, mosaics and a whole lot of board games which look great and I’ve never seen before. I want the jumbo chess and checkers and the bingo cage. And there is a bunch of fun cooking kits – petite fours, great pancake shapes, rock candy snowflake kit and a make your own rootbeer kit! And for those of us who are feeling a bit lazy about the all-too-quickly coming winter holidays, they have a pre-baked, ready to assemble gingerbread house kit and a candy tree kit and (ooh this is so cool) a treasure ball kit (these are the surprise balls I have such bad pictures of). Wanna help me lobby them for a fill-your-own party cracker kit? I don’t doubt that you could do all of this stuff yourself, but sometimes a tidy little kit is nicely encouraging.