There are lots of situations in which simple crafts can come in handy. Whether you are the arts and crafts director at a sleep away camp or day camp, designing a vacation bible school program, or simply trying to your own kids occupied during time off from school, arts and crafts can be a great activity. They keep children occupied while also allowing them to express their creativity, and they can be enjoyable for adults, too!
To make the best use of crafts as an activity, you want to plan ahead and have many different projects and materials on hand at all times. If you see a good deal that will help your budget, do not pass it up. For example, when you see wooden bird houses for sale, buy them, along with some discounted paints or other decorations. This can make a great art project.
There are plenty of simple and fund crafts. Here are a few of them:
Suncatchers/ “stained glass” windows: This project goes by a couple of different names, depending on the packaging. It comes with a design made of clear plastic, and some paint that remains transparent when you apply it. Kids can choose their own colors to create a unique design. This activity is easy and great for small children.
Warm fuzzies: All you need for this simple craft is plenty of yarn and a pair of scissors. Measure out eight long strands of yarn (or more, if you want the fuzzy to be thicker), and wrap the strands around your hand. Tie another strand in the middle, and then cut the sides so the ends of the yarn are loose and fluff out. If that verbal description doesn’t make sense, a quick Google search will bring up step by step directions with pictures.
Friendship bracelets: This craft is a tried and true classic. You will need safety pins, scissors, and many different shades of embroidery floss. There are lots of different friendship bracelet designs, which you can learn from books or online. Some of them are difficult, but many of them are very simple to learn. Kids are always excited to learn the various patterns, and to start trading the bracelets with all of their friends.
Jewelry making: This activity requires small beads and stones, so it’s not a good thing to do with toddlers, as those beads will wind up in someone’s mouth, which is a choking hazard. With older kids, though, this can be a relaxing activity that allows them to express individual artistry. Because the materials can be costly, it is best to do this with small groups, so that you won’t need too many supplies.
Scrapbooking: Most people these days store their photos digitally, which makes a physical scrapbook even more of a unique keepsake. Scrapbooking is an ideal craft for doing at home, because you may have unorganized family photos lying around. If you get really into it, you can purchase supplies like acid-free paper, die cuts, and special scissors for cutting borders. However, you can also make a neat collage or book with only photos, construction paper, and markers.
Those ideas a just a start; the repertoire of crafting activities is vast, and you can always find a new project online or in craft books. Start gathering ideas, purchasing supplies, and planning your activities today!
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