A great idea for a young child’s party is to have one that involves a birthday arts and crafts project. Arts and crafts projects at parties are good ways to make sure all the guests are involved in creating something that can be taken home at the end of the party.
Depending on the age of the children attending, different projects will be appropriate. Also, if the party is going to be held outside, different projects may be better than others – especially on a windy day.
This is a very inexpensive but fun activity for children. Allowing children to mix their own bubble concoction (1/2 cup of any brand of dish soap, 1 ˝ cups of water, and 2 teaspoons of sugar) makes this project more fun. Each child can be given his or her own bubble wand. Obviously, this project is for an outdoor party only!
Depending on the age of the children at the party, jewelry-making parties can be a huge hit. For young children, large beads and easy to use string is perfect for making necklaces and bracelets. However, teenage girls will also love a jewelry party if it is age-appropriate. For older girls, a professional jeweler can be brought to the party to teach beading or jewelry-making techniques. After a demonstration, the girls can let their creative juices flow as they make a piece of jewelry to take home with them.
A coloring party is a great idea if a large empty room is available. All that is needed is a large roll of white paper, tape and an abundance of washable crayons or markers. Using the roll of paper and the tape, cover as much of the room as possible so that children can draw whatever they want where ever they want. They’ll have a great time drawing on the walls and on the tables.
A ceramics painting party is usually more expensive than an arts and crafts party that takes place within a home, but it is also a very fun and unique way to celebrate a special birthday. There are stores across the country which allow children to pick an unpainted ceramic item from hundreds of choices, and then allow them to glaze it using a variety of colors. The store then fires the items, which can be picked up later. Most stores have special rooms and set-ups for birthday parties, and most also come with an area to enjoy birthday cake.
A tie-dye party is a great idea for a summer birthday. A white T-shirt, a pair of white socks, or any other white cloth item can be supplied to all party guests. The party host should have rubber bands and string available so that unique designs can be created on the clothing items. When everybody is ready to put their items in the dye, it should be mixed and used very carefully – since it will stain! If the items are given enough time to dry, they can be taken home with each guest the same day.
For children who are very creative and can spend hours on a project, regular arts and crafts projects can be raised to a higher level.
Following are some creative crafts for children that can be adjusted to be simple projects or more complex – depending on the age and interest of the child:
Create a Bug or Bug Farm
Parents don’t worry… this project does not utilize real bugs! Using egg cartons, scraps of paper, paint or markers, pipe cleaners, glue, googlie eyes, cotton balls (and any other material that seems appropriate), and children can create many different species of bugs! Simply cut an egg carton into pieces and use each “hump” as a bug’s back. Add arms and legs, a tail, wings, a face, etc… Some children will be interested in creating one or two bugs, and other children will enjoy creating an entire bug farm. This is a project that can last several hours for some children. A cardboard box can be decorated to store the completed bugs.
Use Coffee Filters
A very inexpensive creative arts and crafts project for children involves the use of unused coffee filters, scissors, food coloring, and a medicine dropper. To start, children can fold individual coffee filters several times and then cut shapes from them. After the shapes are cut, the coffee filter can be unfolded and decorated. Using a medicine dropper, drop different colored watered-down food coloring on the filter. The colors will spread and when they are dry, the coffee filters will look like works of art! Children may want to make one coffee filter craft, or they may want to make several. If several are created, they can be attached to string and hung from the ceiling or a hanger to create in interesting mobile.
In order to make crayons, broken crayons are needed. However, making new crayons out of broken crayons is better than throwing those scraps away. The materials needed for this project include waxed paper, a pencil sharpener, a cookie sheet and as many broken crayons as possible. Using the pencil sharpener, broken crayons should be grated into very small pieces or shavings. Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper, and let the child make a design out of all the colors.
Place the cookie sheet into a 300-degree oven, and let the shavings melt together. Once melted, remove from the oven and let the newly created crayons completely cool. Once cool, the crayons can be used to create drawings. This project can be made more complex by allowing the child to attempt mixing crayon colors to create new shades or to create unique crayon shapes.
Make Soap Shapes
Making soap shapes is a project only appropriate for children who can safely use carving tools. Using a regular bar of soap, draw a simple pattern on top of the bar using a marker. Then, using carving tools, scrape away at the soap until the desired shape has been achieved.
With so many possibilities for children’ arts and crafts activities, it’s sometimes overwhelming to figure out a specific project. Before pulling out every bead, bottle of glue, can of paint, and scrap of paper in the house, sit down and think about what interests the children in your house.
Some children are interested in building abstract sculptures, some like molding clay, some like being creative with food, and others enjoy using fabric. Following are some children’ arts and craft activities that children never stop enjoying:
At first glance, it may seem like baking cookies is not a type of arts and crafts project. However, if children can decorate those cookies – or build a structure out of them – they become edible materials for an arts and crafts activity. To make this project the most enjoyable, allow the children to bake the cookies (with an adult’s help). Once the cookies are cool, allow the children to decorate them with frosting and sprinkles. If they’re interested, they can then use the cookies to create a “cookie masterpiece” to be served for dessert to the entire family!
Toilet Paper and Paper Towel Tubes
Whatever you do, do NOT throw away toilet paper and paper towel cardboard tubes! These items are normally tossed in the trash, which is a shame because they can be the primary materials used in many different children’ arts and craft activities. A few simple ideas on what children can do with these tubes are:
1) Using tape or glue, children can create a large track for marble races.
2) By cutting the tubes into several small circles, children can decorate them with paint and glitter to create unique napkin rings.
3) Tubes can be filled with beans and taped shut to create musical instruments.
Homemade Play Dough
One of the most loved and popular children’ arts and crafts activity is homemade play dough. Most children have used the store-bought kind and have enjoyed it for hours, days, and even weeks. However, it’s much more fun for children to mix and stir the ingredients to make a fresh batch of the homemade variety. In addition to mixing, children can also add their favorite food coloring to create their favorite color dough. Homemade play dough has a slightly different consistency than the store-bought type, and many children even prefer it. Homemade play dough is nice for parents because it’s inexpensive to make and it can be easily stored.
Projects from Nature
You can kill two birds with one stone by encouraging children to create an arts and crafts activity from nature. To complete this type of project, send the children into the back yard or take them to the neighbourhood park and have them collect all sorts of items that they find interesting. Some examples of good items include: acorns, pine cones, leaves, rocks, sticks, etc… Bring the items home and allow the child to glue, build, paint, and create a project using all their items found in nature. Completed arts and crafts projects from nature make good items to hang on the front door or to place on the doorstep.
If the word “creative” is part of the English language, there will be new children craft activities invented on a daily basis. Children are just as good as adults (if not better!) at coming up with creative craft activities that utilize the imagination.
Remember, when craft projects are presented, the instructions do not always have to be taken literally. For example, if a project instructs a person or child to use green paint, it’s ok to substitute one or many other colors for green if other colors are liked better. There’s no law that says pigs must be pink and the sky has to be blue! Let children used their imaginations when they are completing craft activities designed for their age group.
Following are some more children craft activity examples. The instructions can be followed or slightly modified to your liking:
Make a Beehive
The materials needed for this project include Honey Comb cereal (or a generic version), heavy paper, scissors, glue, and pipe cleaners (yellow and black). A beehive shape should be cut out of a yellow sheet of heavy paper. Next, individual pieces of Honey Comb cereal should be glued all over the paper so that it resembles an actual honeycomb. Using the yellow and black pipe cleaners, twist them into the shapes of tiny bees. Once several bees have been constructed, glue them on top of the Honey Comb cereal, which should have already been glued to the heavy paper. Once dry, the honeycomb, which will be filled with bees, can be hung in a window.
Pens That Won’t Get Lost
Most households have a common problem: there are never any pens available when they are needed to take a phone message. Pens are notorious for getting lost, and they never seem to be available when they are most needed. For this child’ craft activity, they will not only have fun being creative, but they will also be helping to solve the “lost pen” problem in your house. Materials needed: pens, silk flowers with short stems, floral tape. The stems of the flowers should be held tightly to the pen as floral tape is wrapped around. The tape will secure the flower, which will make it easy find the pen if it’s ever misplaced!
Coffee Filter Art
Two of the most popular ways to use coffee filters in children’ arts and crafts projects are to make them into flowers and to make them into butterflies. To make them into flowers, first have the children color designs on them using markers. Then, drop a small amount of water on the filter so that the colors “bleed.” Dry the coffee filters using a hair dryer. Next, make an accordion with the filter and secure it in the center with a green pipe cleaner. Finally, open the flower! This works very well if several colored coffee filters are used together to make a single flower. The same basic technique can be used to create coffee filter butterflies, but instead of securing the butterfly with a pipe cleaner, use a clothespin. Then, eyes and antennae can be added to the top of the clothespin.