There are many FREE and inexpensive ways to indulge your little crafter this summer, while not making a mess at home:
Michael's stores Camp Creativity offers craft classes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings from 10 a.m. to noon through July 26 for ages 3 and up in all their stores. This year the program has a different theme each week and participants can collect stickers and coloring sheets each time they visit. Cost: $3/child. Registration is required. For schedule and registration information, click here.
The Second Friday art program runs through the summer at the Smith College Museum of Art, July 12 and August 9, from 4-8 p.m. Kids get to make a FREE (and always very cool) art project.
Make It Springfield offers workshops for all ages. Every Sunday afternoon from 3:30-5:30 p.m. there is a Make It Together workshop where families are invited to create together -- projects may vary from drawing, to painting, to sewing, to crafts. Cost is $5/person, drop ins welcome. There are other workshops offered throughout the week, some are FREE. You can follow their schedule on their Facebook page.
All Barnes and Noble stores also offer weekly storytimes geared toward the younger set which always end with a simple craft project. They have lots of other hands-on events for all ages throughout the summer. Check the events page for your local store.
Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft stores offer the Learn with Jo-Annprogram where older children can sign up for more advanced crafting classes like sewing, knitting, and jewelry making. These classes cost around $30, but kids will learn more advanced techniques and leave with a functional product like a pillowcase or jewelry set. You can find a list of classes offered at the Holyoke store here.
The Home Depot Kids Workshop series will also be held throughout the summer, first Saturday of the month, 9 a.m. - noon, FREE. Register here.
Check with the children's department of your local library to find out what types of drop-in crafts programs are offered during the summer. There are usually a bunch of really cool projects kids can make for FREE.
*small, clear planter tray *small rock *cut off section of toilet paper tube *preserved moss *three small crosses made from twigs and twine
We made this at the egg hunt party at Feeding Hills Congregational Church. I love the simplicity and beauty of this resurrection craft. You can easily substitute materials with items found around the house and yard. It's a quiet reminder for Holy Week. #eastercraft #craftingwithkids #palmsunday
If your house is anything like mine, there are usually at least six open boxes of cereal in the pantry. We love cereal not just for breakfast but for a snack at any time of the day (I'm eating handfuls of Maple Cheerios as I write this).
There are also lots of super simple kids' crafts created with cereal. Putting these together is great motor skills practice for the littles. Here are a few of my favorites (you can read that as easiest):
I'm a little obsessed with this craft. It reminds me of the funny Jib Jab elf videos you can make at Christmas time. These little guys are taking over my house.
It's super simple, it doesn't require a trip to the store for any special materials, and it's a perfect way to use up some of those leftover holiday photo cards or tiny school photos.
This craft is very forgiving. Use what you have on hand around the house which encourages creativity.
What to gather:
Stiff paper -- I used a paper plate (it's the perfect size to make a hand held snowman) but you can use cardboard, a piece of a cereal box, a mannila folder, etc.
White liquid glue
Something to draw with
Scraps of ribbon, buttons, sequence, gems, etc.
Step 1: Draw a snowperson shape on the paper plate and cut it out
Step 2: Cut out face from photograph and use the glue stick to position it in center of the snowperson's head (use the glue stick and not the white liquid glue or it the photo could get damaged):
Step 3: Use the white glue to glue cotton balls around the face and all over the snow body
Step 4: Use the ribbon and other embellishments you've collected to personalize your snowperson. Glue them down with the liquid glue:
Step 5: Proudly display your snow family. Mine is taking over the top of the piano. I'm running out of room but I just realized I haven't made one for the dog yet! Happy crafting! #craftingwithkids #winterfun
(If you make a snow family of your own send me a pic and I'll start a gallery!)
Happy Fourth of July! I have a few simple upcycle craft ideas to help you celebrate with the kiddos today -- the firework confetti poppers are so fun for the littles. And the big kids will love to make swirly Patriotic decorations from plastic cups. Learn all about it on this link from the Mass Appeal show.
I hope you'll use it often to help plan the best summer ever with your family! Hope to see you at the playground/spray park/library/hiking trail/park/craft program. That's where we'll be. #bestsummerever
While we're still waiting for some spring blooms outside, I've got a super simple paper flower craft you can work on today to help springify the house inside. These paper hyacinths are perfect for Easter! All you need to make these beautiful blooms are construction paper, scissors, and a glue stick. Instructions can be found on this clip from Mass Appeal. Enjoy!
Valerie Smart is a average mom trying to raise average kids. She is passionate about unplugged parenting and providing her girls with an old-fashioned childhood full of outdoor play, unstructured time, creative pursuits, and making family time a priority. She is attempting to swim against the tide of hyper competitive parenting that has become the norm today. Comments and suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for visiting!