by Candie Cooper
Kids love making things which is one of the reasons I love working with them so much! Here is a list of things to keep in mind when crafting with a group of children. I hope you'll find it helpful and feel free to leave your tips in the comment section. The more the merrier!
1. Choose a craft that everyone can be successful with because frustrated crafty kids equals no fun. Most craft projects for children indicate the age appropriate in the instructions.
2. Work with kid-friendly, non-toxic materials. Plaid products like Apple Barrel
paints and ModPodge
fit the bill!
3. Have one or two finished samples of the craft ready to show children so they can see what they are making.
4. This may be obvious, but make sure everyone can see you when showing how to make the craft. I always start by saying, "can everyone see me?" and then they shuffle and adjust (it's pretty cute).
5. Little bowls and trays are great for organizing the supplies on the table. If you are painting, wide bottomed water buckets are awesome to put paint brushes in because they don't tip easy and save your brushes for clean-up later. Being organized is key when working with kids so things go smoothly because, well, they're fast!
6. Extra paint smocks are great to have on hand to protect clothing just in case the kiddos didn't come prepared to get messy.
7. Which reminds me: protect table surfaces. Dollar stores are great places to pick up inexpensive plastic tablecloths.
8. Referring to number five, have a simple self-guided activity for those who finish ahead of others (i.e. construction paper and crayons). I've also asked those that finish early to offer their friends help or given them a simple task to help me in clean-up.
9. Speaking of clean-up, have a clean-up station stocked with wet wipes, paper towels, water buckets, and brush cleaner.
10. If you are unsure of how long the craft will take or difficulty level, you can always do a practice run with one or two children before the actual event. This really helps to work out the kinks.
11. Tell the kids what a great job they did on their craft and CELEBRATE CREATIVITY!! (And pat yourself on the back for leading them!)