As the mother of a child with a January birthday, I have found planning a party somewhat challenging. Mother Nature makes a backyard BBQ or a gathering at the park virtually impossible. How do I keep a dozen (or more) children entertained and relatively contained till it's time for cake and ice cream? Fortunately, local mom, artist, and blogger Jen Goode has the scoop on birthday party she hosted: a fun and fabulous indoor crafting carnival!
We had different projects, each set up at individual tables. The kids started off decorating a gift bag with stamps and stickers. Then they continued around the house to different activities. When they finished the activity, they got a little gift to add to their bag. Crayons and sidewalk chalk and fun glow necklaces were some of the goodies they picked up.
I put different crafty goodies in plastic baskets and on trays I picked up at Dollar tree. I wish I had a call of cubbies I could keep all these fun baskets in, full of crafty goodness!
I think the favorite activity of the day was decorating crowns. I had no idea we had so many queens and kings in the neighborhood! The kids got to color cardboard crown cut-outs and then add sparkly gems. My favorite, however was face painting. I was able to get my 16 year old and his girlfriend to be the face painters for the day – the kids LOVED it and my son was able to get involved in his little sister’s party without having to pretend princesses are fun.
I had helpers for every table so the little crafters had assistance with every project. It looks easy enough to glue on some gems or color a design, but sometimes it’s not so easy to be creative. This is my son who volunteered to be in charge of making crowns. He was SO excited to be able to help the kids.
Although I do have my own craft stash I share with the kids, I picked up special items just for the kids to use at the party. Things like washable markers, washable stamp ink and kid friendly beads are a must, especially with little kids. The majority of my craft party goodies came from Consumer Crafts, Dollar Tree and the stamp ink came directly from Clearsnap.
Gotta love the plastic tablecloths, right? Always protect your tables, no matter how cheese the drape is. When it comes to kids and crafts, the least expensive way you can get the job done, do it! I got my plastic tablecloths at the Dollar Tree, a buck a piece, ya can’t beat that!
One of the best ways to keep a craft party flowing is to be organized. With a craft party, having supplies in containers and separated by project helps to not only keep the supplies organized, but helps the kids understand what to use to make the project. Sometimes too many options can stump kids and they aren’t sure what to do. So keep the supply list simple and appropriate for the age. 2-3 supplies for kids 6 and under is ok. They can make amazing things with glue, markers and some glitter!
Jen Goode is a work-at-home mom of three, an artist, internet geek, and Doodler in Charge at JGoode Designs, a Denver-based art and design studio. See more of her great ideas at 100Directions.com and ProjectsforPreschoolers.com.