So you hated science in school. Or maybe you were a budding Dexter (the science-geek cartoon character, not the serial killer) who couldn’t get enough of the hydrogen sulphide fumes in the chemistry lab. Either way, maybe it’s time to rediscover that science can be loads more fun than you gave it credit for. Ikanjoy’s kits have you constructing thingamajigs that demonstrate how water and wind energy are converted into electricity (R2,799). Fill up the hydro-power kit outside when it’s drizzling, and when the clouds clear, experiment with solar energy using Green Science’s set. From rock polishers and metal detectors to a DIY perfumery, there’s something to keep every variety of science-buff occupied. But our favourite is the ‘Prehistoric Skeleton Excavation Kit’ by Kidz Labs that lets budding archaeologists dig up and reassemble woolly mammoths and Stegosauruses (R550).
Available at all leading toy stores across the city.
Painting up a storm
This is the simplest way to brighten up grey monsoon afternoons. We love the kits by Toy Kraft that let you paint tribal face masks (R299), and dabble in Warli (R499) and Madhubani art (R499). There are also mouldand- paint sets dedicated to a particular state (R199). Our favourite was the Kerala one that lets you fashion Kathakali dancers and houseboats from plaster of Paris. Paint them over, attach the magnet pieces included in the box and voila, you can stick your creations on the refrigerator door. Or you can make a pretty nameplate (R275) and hang it right outside your door. Pogo too has a range of art kits that show you how to make everything from tie-and-dye pillows (R325) to sling-bags (R375).
Available at all leading toy stores and stationery stores across the city.
The Hab by Usha offers classes on the basics of sewing and stitching apparel and accessories, but you can also take matters into your hands with their sewing kits. These pack all materials required as well as paper patterns by the in-house brand and international ones like McCalls Crafts (from R180). Use these to create everything from structured tops and dresses, handbags, wallets and laptop covers to stuffed toys and life-size tents for kids. If you’ve only just learned to thread a needle, start small with a beginner stitch kit by brands like Anchor and Pony – we spotted a charming old-school cross stitch embroidery kit by Pony at tailoring supply shop Something Special in Bandra. Sewing kits by Anchor and Pony available at leading tailoring supply stores across the city. Paper patterns and sewing kits are also available at The Hab by Usha. The Hab by Usha conducts classes on the basics of sewing including an introductory class (R150).
Call the store for class schedule.
You can never go wrong with jigsaw puzzles. Being cooped up indoors while it pours doesn’t seem half bad when you’re busy putting together a masterpiece. It appears that the makers of the jigsaw sets in the market want you to get in touch with your artistic side too, with puzzles of Botticelli’s painting of Venus (R2,395) and Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Mona Lisa’ (R549). The levels of complexity range from 300 to a staggering 13,200 pieces. But those looking for something a little less daunting yet still challenging can try Puzzle Ball by Funskool (R1,825). The circular puzzle depicts the Simpsons family across 240 pieces, putting a fun spin on a fail-safe game. And for those who’d like their puzzles in 3D, the “World Famous Mini Architecture”series (R375) pictured here lets you build miniatures of iconic structures like the Eiffel Tower, the Great Wall of China, and the Taj Mahal.
Available at all leading toy stores across the city.
Remember the countless paper boats you constructed during class when the first showers hit the city? Well, we’ve found slightly more complicated ships to build. Play the role of a navy commander with German toy maker Academy’s detailed plastic model series, Battleship. The collection includes everything from whalers to warships, ranging from 1/350-scale sail-powered clippers to 1/800-scale nuclear aircraft carriers including one of the largest atomic aircraft carriers in the world, the USS Dwight D Eisenhower (1977), complete with on-deck helipads, aircrafts and service vehicles (from R495). For the more scientific minds, the company offers a Solar Powered Turtle Ship (R1,395) and Leonardo da Vinci’s paddleboat (R895). If love is on your mind, there are two versions (1/700-scale and 1/400-scale) of the Titanic, and if you would rather fight the stormy weather in a boat with sails, try the clipper ship Cutty Sark, or the New Bedford whaler (from R495). If you happen to finish before the rains pass, we suggest you move to a more challenging construction, perhaps with an empty old bottle of wine.
Available at all leading toy and bookstores across the city.
Decoupage is the art of cutting out all the stickers, images and printed artworks you love and sticking them on to wooden, ceramic or even glass objects. Beginners will find all the materials they require at Hobby Ideas outlets, which retail a range of wooden jewellery boxes, trays, coasters and wall hangings (from R70). Start by painting the entire surface area of the object with acrylic colours. While the paint dries, carefully cut out the patterns you want to work with from ready-made sticker sheets or wrapping paper-sized sheets (from R68) at Hobby Ideas. They feature everything from famous paintings to teddy bears. Apply a coat of Modge Podge, an adhesive and sealer by Heritage Craft Products (from R200), on the back of the cut-outs and carefully place them on the dried surface. Once dried, use the same glue to go over the surface, using a flat brush in the same direction. When the first layer sets, you can add more layers of Modge Podge for a finished varnish. Finish by gluing on 3D elements such as buttons and sequins on the surface. If this sounds tough, start small with a coaster with a typography-led or a single-sticker project in mind.
Decoupage products are available at all leading stationery and art supply stores across the city. Hobby Ideas conducts one-on-one decoupage classes daily between 1.30pm and 6.30pm at the Kemps Corner outlet. Classes start at R375 per session.
WHERE TO BUY
Crossword Mohammedbhai Mansion, below Kemps Corner Bridge, N S Patkar Marg, Kemps Corner (+91 22 6627 2100). Daily 11am-9pm. Visit www.crossword.in for a complete list of stores.
The Hab by Usha G-1, 444 Corporate Lounge, opposite Sahib Khatwara Darbar, Road No 7, Linking Road, Bandra West (+91 22 6127 4444). Fri-Wed 10am-10pm. Thur closed. Visit www.thehab.in.
Hamleys Courtyard, First Floor, High Street Phoenix, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel (+91 22 4347 3444). Daily 11am-9pm. Visit www.hamleys.in.
Hobby Ideas Kwality House, Ground Floor, next to Crossword, below Kemp’s Corner Bridge, NS Patkar Marg, Kemps Corner (+91 22 6730 3831). Daily 10.30am-8.30pm. Visit www.hobbyideas.net for a complete list of stores.
Landmark Infiniti Mall, Link Road, Oshiwara, Lokhandwala, Andheri West (+91 22 6456 4380). Daily 11am-10pm. Visit www.landmarkonthenet.com for a complete list of stores.
Reliance TimeOut Reliance Trends Building, Main Street Mall, Lower Ground Floor, near Elco Market, Hill Road, Bandra West (+91 22 4477 1688). Daily 11am-9.30pm. Visit www.reliancetimeout.com for a complete list of stores.
Something Special 63, next to St Joseph’s Convent High School, Hill Road, Bandra West (+91 22 2643 0894). Daily 8.30am-9.30pm.
By Prerna Makhija, Mithila Phadke on July 06 2012 7.14am
Photos by Mohnish Dabhoya