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Topic: Crafts to Do With Kids  (Read 1721 times)
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Rie
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« on: February 04, 2007 09:26:41 AM »

I just got a new job (yay me - I start on Wed.!) working at a youth club with chrildren and teens - 9yrs -18yrs old.

Does anyone have any super cool ideas of different crafts I can work on with the kids (mainly the young girls)? Something easy enough to be done so they don't lose their motivation but still hard enough so it's seen as a challenge?

From what I remember, they have painting stuff there and also beading stuff but that's about it... maybe a sewing machine and some fabric.... I'm kinda crafty myself and I'm willing to do some homework so I know how to teach the kids different things...

Any ideas? Anything? Please.
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mllejessy
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2007 09:46:19 AM »

I'm a teen librarian, and here are some crafty things I've done:
-magazine bowls
-origami stars (this one, I just set up some instructions next to a bunch of paper strips)
-ATCs

What about just getting a bunch of supplies and setting them out, letting your crew just use their creativity and make stuff?  Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn't...
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« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2007 05:33:47 PM »

The younger kids might be interested in popsicle stick crafts.  I remember having a lot of fun with those when I was little.  You say there's painting stuff, so the kids can add a bit of color to their crafts.  It might or might not hold the older kids' attention, though.

I taught myself cross stitch and needlepoint when I was about 12.  How about some simple needlepoint projects?  Bookmarks and stuff?  Small projects will give them near-immediate gratification, and then if they want, they can move on to larger projects.

Congrats on finding a new job that lets you be crafty. Smiley
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« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2007 06:22:59 AM »

I'm shocked at what the kids can handle at that age. I'm running a weekly group for 20 youth ages 11 to 18 (although the 9 year olds are sneaking in now!) at the library and we have done the following: bookbinding (cardstock and paper), scrapbooking, card making, beeswax & melted wax candles, melt & pour soap, lip balms, marble magnets, bath salts, bath bombs, bubble bath, sewing drawstring bags & purses, calendar making, candy making (twice! very popular), cross stitching, knitting, and crocheting. Upcoming we are making bubble bath & body wash, shampoo & conditioner, stuffed animals, dog collars, hand & body lotion, and beaded jewellery. I've just bought some magnetic paint to see if we can make magnetic and cork boards for their lockers. I figure this could tie in with a marble magnets class or a shrinky dink thumb tack class.

If you want some of my lesson plans, suggestions, and shopping lists, please PM me and I'll send them on to you. I can share what I've learned so far and send you some recipes for things. Something like bookbinding can be cheap and easy, and it can span over a few weeks to keep them coming back. This week we're making our journal or scrapbook. Next week we're going to scrapbook it so bring your pictures! And so on. I find a 2 or 3 class arc keeps them coming back.

I find the kids have quite a long attention span if you establish what you are going to do and what they will get out of it -- for instance, we are making bubble bath and each of you will get 2 bottles to take home -- because then they know what they are doing and they don't get all grabby! And always throw in a project they can do on their own, such as making labels for bottles or tags for gifts or something like that. The kids I work with love packaging and making things pretty, so I always allot time to make a pretty label for something or offer a template for a bag or box.

Again, I'm surprised by what they can make and do when you break it down into easy steps. You will have to practice and do your homework on the projects, figuring out supplies and how to explain it, but it is well worth it. Around Christmas time, make sure you start early with things they can give to loved ones. We did a four class arc with all kinds of things they could give to people -- cards, ornaments, bubble bath, bath salts, lotion bars, lip balm, gift bags, gift tags -- and they kept coming back. And they even made 10 gift bags for a local transition house with all these items. How awesome is that?

Okay, I've gone on too long here, but I cannot stress enough that there are myriad projects you can do with this age! If you think about it and practice at home to work out the bugs, there is no limit to what you can teach!
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mllejessy
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2007 07:39:48 AM »

swift, how did you do melt and pour?  I tried it, but since we only had one microwave, there were difficulties...
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swift
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« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2007 07:58:11 AM »

I hate using a microwave -- there isn't enough control for me. For all the melty stuff -- wax, chocolate, soap -- I use an electric fondue pot and create a double boiler with a pyrex jug and place it in the water to boil. It works really well! You can get one of these from the thrift store for next to nothing.

Or you can put water into an electric frying pan and use that as a double boiler by putting smaller portions of the item into a Pyrex or other heat proof container. (You can use canning jars for this as well.)

If you're going to do melt & pour or other molded things, check out the dollar store or Ikea or somewhere like that for the silicone ice cube tray molds. Or check out the chocolate sections of craft stores for smaller molds. I find kids like to take home a whack of stuff. Five small soaps are better than one large one!
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danger0usangel03
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2007 08:07:15 AM »

I do all sorts of crafts with my girl scout group! ^_^
im an assisatant ;eader now and been in the grup since 6th grade, unfortunalty some of our funds have been taken away T__T but we always try to do some cool crafts with the leftovers we have.
the young ones have just started doing embroidery on plastic canvas they seem to really like it and they use the large plastuc canvas and plastic needles so they dont get hurt and scared lol
we've also done tons of paper crafts like lamps out of paper cups, napkin holders and all sorts of party favors for our end of the month bday celebrations.
ATC, simple sewing, crochet (took the girls a while)
the young girls that now know a bit more sewing and differnt stiches are working on little felt plushies. I could give you tons of ideas haha there really is so much you can do with young kids. especially incorporate things they love.

like this one little girl in my group loves hello kitty, she didnt really find embrodery all the interesting until i found a hello kitty pattern she could understand and liked, now shes always asking if i have a new hello kitty craft to do for her room ^_^ .. she always seems more interested in learning something if there can be a hello kitty on it
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« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2007 08:08:01 AM »

There are a ton of threads about camp crafts, churhc crafts, kid crafts, etc. Try and do a search.
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mllejessy
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2007 08:34:51 AM »

There are a ton of threads about camp crafts, churhc crafts, kid crafts, etc. Try and do a search.

I just posted in the "suggest a board" board about getting us a crafting for groups home: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=150521.msg1491778#msg1491778
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Rie
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« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2007 02:21:09 PM »

Wow - thank you for all your imput! All the ideas sound great and I'm excited to see what kind of kids they are at the youth club so I can see what type of crafts they would be most interested in.

Thank you all!
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www.ariecrafts.blogspot.com
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