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Every couple of weeks I host a playgroup for a bunch of my mom friends. Most of the moms that come have babies that are around K’s age and that entertain themselves, but there are a handful of moms that come with kids that are a little older and need a little help in the entertainment department. For our St. Patrick’s Day playgroup in March, I decided to come up with a fun St. Patrick’s Day craft for kids using Crayola crayons that they can do while the little ones are playing. And while I was doing that, I also came up with my list of 10 essential tips for planning crafts for kids based on my own experience.
Tip #1 – Know the kids.
This should guide not only what kind of craft you plan but also how much the kids will actually be doing. I am planning a St. Patrick’s Day craft for young kids so I kept it to something incredibly simple and I did all of the cutting. If this were for older kids, I might have let them cut out their own pots with kid safe scissors.
Tip #2: Plan crafts with a variety of materials.
Kids love to be creative and use their imagination. The more options they have, the more creative they can be. For my craft, I picked up a 96-pack of Crayola Crayons, 24 pack of Crayola sidewalk chalk, and 10 pack of Crayola washable kids paint at Walmart in the arts and craft aisle to give the kids a number of different options.
Tip #3: Keep the craft simple.
While you may have grand visions of your kids sitting and crafting for hours at a time, that’s not typical. Plan crafts that are simple enough that kids can finish them quickly and if they are really interested they can use the supplies to make something else or get more creative with their first craft.
Tip #4: Provide enough supplies for everyone to have their own.
If you can, provide enough supplies so that everyone can have their own rather than making everyone share the same red crayon or pink piece of chalk. The 96 count Crayola Crayon set is perfect for this because it includes almost every shade of the typical colors you can imagine. I set out little pots with various crayons in each color so that I don’t have to deal with sharing meltdowns.
Tip #5: Get creative with your supplies.
Think outside of the box when it comes to supplies. Since paintbrushes tend to be a little more expensive, I decided to use baby carrots as stamps for the kids paints instead. And the circle shaped baby carrots are perfect for creating gold coins, shamrocks, clouds, and whatever else the kids can imagine.
#6: Make an example that kids can look at.
Before it’s craft time, make an example that kids can look at. Don’t spend hours making it perfect and don’t make kids copy your example but have it there just for reference. Here is my example. I’m pretty sure the kids’ versions will be better than mine.
Tip #7: Set things up before craft time.
Get all of your supplies together and have everything setup before craft time. You don’t want to be running around looking for a glue stick or red crayon while someone decides to eat a baby carrot covered in paint.
Tip #8: Setup your craft area on a table with a disposable (or at least washable) tablecloth.
Crafts are messy. Kids doing crafts are even messier. Setup a disposable tablecloth, plastic drop cloth, or something else on top of the table where the kids are crafting and throw it away once craft time is over.
Tip #9: Have kids write names on their crafts.
When craft time (or their attention span) is over and all of the kids run into another room, you’ll have no idea whose picture has the heart clouds in the sky. Have kids (or help kids) write their name on their picture as soon as they get started. For my craft, I provided chalk for kids to write names right on their pots.
Tip #10: Let kids be kids.
Forget those visions of perfectly drawn rainbows and mess-free tables, kids are going to be kids and that’s why they’re so much fun. Just let them be kids.
And there you go, my 10 essential tips to keep in mind when planning out crafts for kids. I used all of those when planning out my easy St. Patrick’s Day craft for kids. I’ve included a step by step tutorial and free printables below if you want to do this with your kids.
Make Your Own Pot of Gold Craft
- Crayola crayons, washable kids paint, and sidewalk chalk
- Light blue paper
- Printable pots
- Baby carrots (or paintbrushes)
- Print and cut out these free printable pots.
- Glue one printable pot to a light blue piece of paper.
- Draw a rainbow using different colored Crayola crayons.
- Stamp on gold coins, shamrocks, and clouds using baby carrots cut in half and dipped in Crayola washable paints.
- Add name to black pot of gold using Crayola sidewalk chalk.
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