KEEPSAKE CRAFTING 4 KIDS
Thank you for taking the time to help a child enjoy Crafting & Creating!
Are you about to lead a child, or group of children, in a crafting project and you have no idea what project to do? Or you just don’t have the time to come up with a fun idea and purchase all of the supplies?
Or you’ve never worked with kids before and have no idea where to even start! Then you’ve come to the right place.
Going all the way back in my life, I’ll never forget the crafting I did as a child. My favorite crafts were the ones I made as gifts. I was so proud of my creations, and little did I know that crafting and creating would become a life-long love.
Once I had kids, I started to have fun doing crafting projects with them. I started an annual Christmas Ornament tradition when my oldest son was born. Needless to say, our Christmas tree is now full of homemade Keepsake Ornaments! And they always had theme birthday parties.
I ran a small home day care, was a Brownie and Girl Scout Leader, got heavily involved in PTA and was room mom for all 3 of my kids from Kindergarten through 6th grade. I learned a lot about kids during those years, and crafting always brought people together.
When the home day care seemed to take too much of my time away from my own kids I gave that up and started a party planning business, specializing in kids parties. It was something I could do to bring in money, but do it around their schedules. Over time this business evolved into being hired by other event planners to set up a crafting table that fit their theme and Craft with Kids at their events.
All of that said, I’ve spent hundreds and hundreds of hours researching theme party and crafting ideas, and countless hours working with kids. I’d like to share what I’ve learned from those experiences with you in the pages of this website.
At your next planned event you will find that kids love Make & Take projects! Have a crafting table set up ahead of time and a volunteer to be the Craft Leader. As the kids arrive lead them to the crafting table. The Craft Leader is there to give instructions, answer any questions the kids may have and keep everyone SAFE.
Working with kids is a blast! They are creative, funny and unpredictable and they really do say the darndest things. I hope you will find a lot of valuable information here that you can use with the kids in your life.
Going into the 2020’s I feel crafting with kids is more important than ever! Public schools are spending less time exploring art techniques, and kids seem to spend more time doing homework. They have family and sport obligations, and are spending more and more time in front of TV, computer, gaming and phone screens.
We need to encourage our kids to explore their creative sides. And what a perfect opportunity to spend quality time with the kids in our life teaching them and learning with them.
**I’ve learned that sharing a crafting experience with a child is a bonding experience that lasts a lifetime**
What I love most about crafting with kids is watching how much fun they have creating something with their hands and showcasing their unique styles and personalities.
Tips for crafting with kids:
- SAFETY FIRST! ALWAYS have this at the top of your priority – before, during and after your crafting project. The safety items you need will depend on your craft. THIS IS THE MOST important aspect of every crafting project you do with kids. They are completely vulnerable and dependent on you to provide them with a safe environment. You must know that all aspects of your project are SAFE including supplies, tools, location and techniques.
- Make sure the crafts you select are age appropriate for your crafter/s.
- Have a plentiful supply of kid-sized aprons, gloves and any other safety supplies needed for your craft.
- Once you’ve gathered all of the supplies for your project, create a sample a few days ahead of time. This gives you the opportunity to make any adjustments you might need. For example: you see that the glue you selected isn’t holding the way you thought it would, now you have time to research a better option and purchase the correct glue. It also helps you to familiarize yourself with the project so you can answer any questions the children may have. Keep your samples and display them on your craft table at your event!
- Protect your craft table by covering it with newspaper or plastic tablecloth/s before bringing out your supplies.
- If working with paints, make sure your floors and chairs are protected, as well.
- Make sure you have enough room for each of the kids to work on their crafting project at the crafting table.
- If your space is limited, you may want to have a separate, supervised activity for kids that are waiting, so they have something to do until a spot at the crafting table opens up. This is always a good idea anyway, because not all kids like to craft. For younger children, coloring and activity books, or some small toys tucked away in a corner, works well.
- Kids lose interest fast, so try to keep things moving along or they will abandon their project and wander off.
- Having enough help is key to keeping things moving along. A good rule of thumb is to have 1 adult or teen for every 4 children. Children 8 years and older can work pretty independently once they’ve gotten some instructions.
- On the flip-side, don’t move too quickly so they can’t keep up. Kids will give up and wander off if they are frustrated.
- Make sure you have enough supplies on hand for all of the kids to be able to complete a project. There’s nothing worse than a disappointed child that wanted that pink sparkly bead too!
- If you’ve purchased a Keepsake Crafting Kit from this website, you will receive a complete Step-by-Step set of Instructions in your kit that you can place in the center of your crafting table. It is 2-sided, so kids on either side of the table can easily read the instructions.
- If you don’t see a Keepsake Crafting Kit that fits your needs, but you like one of the many FREE Tutorials on this website, you can Print the Tutorial and use it as a guide to lead your craft. These Tutorials were created to be able to print and use as Step-by-Step instructions.
- In the middle of your crafting table, place the printed Step-by-Step Instructions next to your crafting supplies and any sample crafts you created and you are ready to go!
- A crafting table makes an incredible Arrival Activity at any event that has children on their guest list. Arrival Activities are a great way to keep your guests busy until everyone has arrived.
- An Arrival Activity is great if you select a project that needs drying time between steps, have the crafters do the first step of the project upon arrival, let dry, then finish up the project later in the event.
- Keep paper towels and a jug of water handy for clean ups. Wet wipes are also a plus when working with paints and/or glue.
- If you will have your crafting activity later in the event, you may not have room to set the craft table up ahead of time. Before the event, gather all of your crafting supplies, table covers, etc. and place them altogether in a bag or box. Place the bag/box near the table/area you’ll be setting up. Now, when you’re ready to start the activity, all you have to do is reach for your supplies and quickly set up.
- Once your all set up, welcome the kids to the crafting table. Show them the completed Sample project of what they’ll be making, go through the step-by-step instructions while reviewing all of the crafting supplies as you tell what they are to be used for. Don’t forget to highlight any Safety Instructions they will need to follow.
- Place Make & Take crafting projects in a safe place to dry. Have supplies ready to wrap the completed projects with, so they make it home safely. This can be done while the kids are busy playing games, eating refreshments, or watching gift opening.
- Lastly, I think it’s important to stress that when crafting with children it is their time to create. Crafting is never supposed to be “cookie-cutter” projects where everyone creates something that looks identical. Crafting is about kids being creative in their own way. Please try to resist the urge to tell your child the “right” way to do their project. There is no right or wrong way. You will be amazed at what kids create when you give them the tools and let them create. Even if it looks nothing like the sample you created!
Here are some links to other pages in my website:
Have fun Crafting with Kids!!