July 1, 2011 / 4:54 PM / in 6 years

Animated Martha Stewart reaches out to kid crafters

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart is being reinvented as an animated 10-year-old in a bid to inspire young girls to take up cooking and crafting.

<p>Homemaking expert Martha Stewart arrives as a guest for "Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World" gala in New York May 4, 2010. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson</p>

Stewart, 69, whose empire includes publishing, broadcasting and merchandising, is the inspiration behind an animated, multimedia Internet series called “Martha & Friends” that makes it debut on AOL Kids on Friday.

The 26 short webisodes feature a 10 year-old blonde Martha as a problem solving, craft-loving girl who with her three friends and two dogs shows kids how to do it themselves.

The series is aimed at 6-11 year-old girls and also features interactive online games, activities and projects.

“Ever since I was a little girl I’ve had a passion for crafting and cooking, and my hope is that this series will inspire a whole new generation of do-it-yourselfers,” Stewart said in a statement.

The venture from Los Angeles-based A Squared Entertainment is also designed to encourage kids to be independent thinkers and problem solvers.

Stewart, founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, launched a magazine aimed at children in 2002 but the publication folded about four years later.

Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte

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