By Ticche and Bea

Reviewed for Third Grade, 2008

Design a Doll

This kit hearkens back to a time when little kids learned to sew magical things out of modest means, long before the phrase "reduce, reuse, recycle" came to be. The company, in an effort to reduce the product's carbon footprint, has used almost entirely Chicago-based material. The yarn, the patterns, and almost everything inside come direct from the Windy City, all within miles of where the product itself is produced. Complete with yarn for hair, dress and pants patterns, a muslin figure, and a sack of sewing accoutrements like seam rippers, thimbles, pin cushions, and more, it will have your child "playing local" while learning an essential skill of generations past. And when the sewing's done, she'll have a cute little keepsake to show off to friends. (Design-a-Doll, Ticche and Bea, $59.99)