Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Smart Ark Easy Doll Sewing Kit (Product Review)

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

Smart Ark.com recently released an Easy Doll Sewing Kit for children 12 and older. This product is being reviewed here due to the fact that this might make a delightful gift for a child 3 years and older once it is sewn.

In this product review I will, insha'Allaah, mention a few things I found to be very commendable about the product and anything that I felt I would like to see modified, perhaps in the next version insha'Allaah. And at the end of this post, there is a surprise from Smart Ark for the readers of 'A Muslim Child is Born'!

Admittedly, I cannot be called upon to give any insight into projects that require a needle, thread, or a sewing machine. Other than my recent dabbling with felt food I have no sewing credits to my name *smile* and before receiving the Easy Doll Sewing Kit, I had yet to attempt anything more complicated than simple felt food. However, this doll sewing kit is appropriately named - it is indeed easy. All of the materials that your child will need to sew this doll are included in the box and the assembly is made smooth and nearly flawless by the pamphlet that guides you through the process step by step.

Of the things I liked about this product are:

  1. 1. The doll depicts a young Muslim girl.  I truly believe it is important for children to see themselves reflected in the books they read and in toys they play with. For children not growing up in Muslim societies, toys such as this one can help a child gain a sense of importance and help the child feel that their Religion is valued and that it counts.
  2. 2. Everything needed to assemble the doll is included. The excitement children experience upon seeing a new toy can often be dampened when you open the box and discover that, "Batteries [are] Not Included" or the really amazing part pictured with the toy is "sold separately".  There isn't even a need to search the house looking for the proper sized needle as all of the tools needed are all in the kit.
  3. A growing number of parents prefer not to purchase toys that require no real work on the part of the child's brain. Toys that 'beep' and 'flash' continue to be criticized because the child is not required to do anything. Children sit passively while the toy entertains them but the child's brain is often not stimulated in a way that encourages intellectual growth...waallaahu a'lam. For parents who share this concern, toys that engage the child's senses, such as this one, are often sought. 
  4. Sewing is an excellent fine motor skill activity and it also helps children learn to concentrate on a task for long periods of time. It is very nice for a child to have a project that accomplishes the aforementioned goals and is also Islamic.
  5. If your child is a beginning sewer, this doll can inspire the confidence needed to pick up the needle for another project as the simple,clear instructions make success highly likely by the Permission of Allaah. If your child is an experienced sewer, this would be a nice gift for him/her to sew and present as a gift to a younger sibling.
  6. The fabric is durable and machine washable. 
  7. The doll does not require days of work to complete. Depending on your child's skill level and stamina, this doll can be started and finished within hours insha'Allaah!
One difficulty I had with the Easy Doll Sewing Kit can be attributed to my nearly non-existent sewing skills and not to the product itself. To sew the doll, the kit recommends using a back stitch. I had no idea what that was..lol...but to save you from making the mistakes I made insha'Allaah, you can see a quick (and really easy explanation) of how to do this stitch here. The stitch, and the manner in which one would do it, is pictured in the pamphlet but for a person with no sewing knowledge, I was unsure if I properly understood how to execute the stitch.

I also found that for a novice sewer, a bit more instruction on the amount of thread that will be needed would be helpful. The kit comes with an impressive amount of sturdy thread but I was not sure how I was to thread the needle with it. I ended up doubling the thread (to ensure it would hold the fabric together as it appears to be very durable masha'Allaah) and then feared I would run out of thread and not have enough to complete the doll. However, this again may be due to my lack of sewing knowledge. The package does say that a parent should supervise the project but I wondered for a parent who has no sewing knowledge, might this cause them a bit of confusion too? Allaahu a'lam. 

Even with that confusion, I still managed to end up with a really cute doll masha'Allaah!

The doll I sewed came out pretty much just like the doll pictured on the Smart Ark Website alhamdulillaah!

Yet another beautiful product from Smart Ark.com for your children to enjoy alhamdulillaah. You can purchase An Easy Doll Sewing Kit directly from Smart Ark or....you can come back to 'A Muslim Child is Born' on January  20, 2011, and enter to win one insha'Allaah! Smart Ark has generously donated An Easy Doll Sewing Kit to be given away to one reader insha'Allaah.

Unfortunately, due to the excessive shipping times right now, I will have to open this giveaway to Canadian and U.S. residence only (unless you do not mind that it may take up to a month to receive the kit - if this is the case, you are most welcome to enter insha'Allaah).

Enjoy insha'Allaah and Jazakum Allaahu Khayran Smart Ark!

6 comments:

  1. Asalam Alaikum Dear Sister,

    We are in no rush, so inshallah will enter here from Turkey. Jazakum Allahu Khaiyr for your insight on this product, but more significantly all of the amazing resources you are providing Muslim families on a day to day basis.

    ReplyDelete
  2. As SAlaamu Alaykum, Alhamdulilah! THis is super cute! How neat is that??! Love it!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Assala mu alaykum wa rahmatullah... we are also in no rush so if we win, we dont mind waiting inshaAllaah. JazakAllah, Umm Muhammad Saalih

    ReplyDelete
  4. slm alkm sister,

    I'm so glad I've checked your post today. I've been looking for a little project for my daughter and that fits the bill. So far, all she's done is saw the standard "postcard with holes".
    I'll definitely be helping her but I know she's gonna love doing that.
    Salaam.

    ReplyDelete
  5. As Salaamu Alaykum,

    This is so cute Masha'Allah....I have been looking for something like this for my girls and this is perfect!

    Barak'Allahu feeki,
    Maleekah Umm Tahir

    ReplyDelete
  6. Assalamu alaikum warahmatullah

    pleas eenter me into the giveaway. JazakAllah khair

    Umm Yusuf

    ReplyDelete

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