We had five days of Kids Games in the school holidays and each day the kids made a craft. I organised those crafts and I can tell you it was a BIG job! We were initially planning for 80-100 kids but we ended up with 125 kids so that meant some last-minute shopping. While we had a lot of supplies in our cupboard from previous years, we also wanted to make sure that we had crafts that the kids would enjoy making as well as take home and keep. With kids from age 5 through to 12 it was a challenge to come up with crafts that they would all enjoy making in the half hour provided each day. This was a church-based program run in conjunction with Scripture Union Queensland and all the activities were based around the story of Joseph from the Bible, although not all the crafts related directly.
I shared previously about the gingerbread men that we decorated as Joseph with his coloured coat and the catapults from paddle pop sticks that we made – my favourite of all the crafts! We also made beaded key chains with the 5 bible verses for the week attached the them. The youngest kids got metal rings that snapped open (mine were called split rings at Officeworks, but I notice on Amazon they are called book rings Affiliate link) so they could thread their laminated verses onto. Then they had pipe cleaners and plastic beads that they could thread and attach to decorate. The older kids got a large paperclip instead of the rings (to keep the cost reasonable) and the oldest kids got smaller beads and coloured wire to thread them on. I really encouraged the oldest group to use their imagination!
Another day we did lots of collage with everything from feathers to foam, wooden sticks and sparkly bits! A photographer took photos of all the teams of kids across the week and we decorated a photo frame to put their pictures into. The frames were a variety of cardboard and foam shapes as well as some large white ice cream container lids. The kids grabbed the glue and had fund adding whatever they felt like!
For “speedy crafters” each day I had some ongoing collage projects too. The very talented JJ from Imagine. Make. Believe. drew some pictures of Joseph from different stories and these were gradually collaged by anyone who had a minute to spare across the week. It was fascinating to see the careful crafters who painstakingly lined up the tiny squares to create lines or patterns, as opposed to the random crafters who just stuck squares anywhere.
My Tips for Organising Kids Games Crafts
- Start with brainstorming based on the theme or Bible story.
- Pinterest and Google are your friends – search for ideas. (Why make up new stuff when there are so many out there sharing activities and tutorials?!)
- If you already lots of one supply, plan around that. (We wanted to use up some of the craft sticks, frames, and beads from the stash so we found crafts to use them.)
- Preparation is so important. Have a clear idea in your head of how things will run each day. Whenever we could we put the supplies out on the tables and the groups worked in teams with their leaders to help.
- Have an example to show kids what they will be making. It can help explain the steps one by one with visuals too.
- Encourage the leaders to get involved and help out by communicating clearly what they will be making and how they can best assist the kids. If you know one particular part of the craft is tricky, tell them up front so they can look out for that point too.
- Helpers are essential. I didn’t really call for a team of helpers before hand, underestimating how intense it would be to have 50 kids plus leaders all asking for my help at once. Luckily some ladies stepped up to help each day and save me!!
- Encourage kids who finish quickly to help their friends. It is great to see kids help each other!
- Have a separate back up activity for kids who finish quickly or can’t cope with the craft for the day. We had a collage on the wall in one corner with glue sticks and paper squares ready to go to all week so that by the end kids knew that was their next point of call if they finished.
- Clean up each day so you’re clear to start setting up for the next day when it arrives. Encourage the kids to help clean up after they finish their crafts too.
- Have a designated place to store their finished crafts until it is time to go home. We had a box for each team to keep their crafts safe while they did other activities before it was time to leave for the day. This avoided them getting lost or broken, or distracting them from another activity.
- Have a way to name each craft. It could be a simple Sharpie marker to write their name on, or provide zip lock bags to keep pieces together and put names on the bags.
Need some of the craft supplies?
I’ve collected some of the links from Amazon to make it easy. (Affiliate links)