Our Craft Station
Our craft station is one of our most frequently used areas at home. I have a picture of our crafting corner and some ideas for keeping kids’ creative juices flowing in this post. I recently came up with an idea for putting a new spin on things to get some extra mileage out of our craft supplies and the kids’ interest in them.
I keep seeing ads pop up in my Facebook feed for monthly subscription activity kits for kids. I’ve seen craft-based kits, several variations on science kits, and I think I even saw a cooking one. If our budget ever allows for it, I would love to sign up for some of these – the appeal of getting a package in the mail with ready-to-go activities for the kids is hard to resist!
But … in the meantime …
I got to thinking that (until the kids know any better), I could pull off my own DIY version of a subscription craft-activity box. I also wanted to draw on the idea of cooking shows where contestants get a box of ingredients and they have to use everything in the box to make something of their own.
So I decided to go with a “Create a Creature Kiosk” theme. You could easily do something similar with your own kids, and if you upsell it really well to them (hint: get super excited about this!!), you might even be able to buy yourself some free time while they happily/messily create something — for free! 🙂
Our craft station is set up in our living room, with a rotating supply of recyclables added to (originally organized) buckets of craft supplies. (See end of this post for a list of some materials I recommend keeping on hand for your own maker-space.) Our boys make use of this area almost daily, and I love to see their creativity blossom as they cut, draw, and paste their way through our stash of free/cheap/recycled supplies. Sometimes I give them ideas and some direction for activities, but more often than not, they come up with their own ideas. Actually, even when I do have some agenda, it usually gets derailed by their own ideas about how things should be. 😉 So I’m learning to just keep it all well-stocked and available, and they’re learning to clean up their messes. … (Ok, actually, that last part is still on my list of things to teach them … )
I sent Superman out of the room and told him I was going to make a surprise activity bag for him. Then I found a paper bag and pulled out about a dozen items from our craft supplies. I figured a smaller set of supplies might provide an easier access point into the experience.
I brought out our pop-up tent (we got this one from IKEA) and set up a tv tray inside it with the craft-kit-bag on top. You could create a “kiosk” (or some type of special space to make this seem like an out-of-the-ordinary moment for your kids) by corning off part of the room with a pillow barrier or draping a bed sheet over a table and setting up a work space underneath.
Then I called Superman back out and (very enthusiastically!) showed him the bag of mystery supplies and the create-a-creature kiosk I had set up for him. He loved it (thankfully!).
We ended up doing this activity twice that day, and he had fun making random creatures with the supplies that I provided. I tried to encourage him to use everything in the bag, but he wasn’t too sure he wanted to do that. 😉
Ideas for extending this activity
If you have multiple kids who are able to participate in this activity, you could set it up as a friendly competition with challenges like:
- Who can use every supply in their bag? (including the bag!)
- Who can finish first? (And clean up first?!)
Or you can choose a theme for their creation:
- Make a monster
- Make a robot (these are essentially the same thing at our house!)
- Invent something useful
- Create something beautiful
- Make some kind of space for a toy to live
Our craft supplies
Some indispensable craft supplies we keep stocked and easily available:
- Glue (glue sticks and white glue)
- Tape (scotch and masking)
- Kid-safe scissors
- Crayons and pencils
- Clipboards for mobile art-on-the-go (because they rarely want to draw or color at the table!)
- Large stash of paper, including construction paper
Fun items that can be used for random crafting:
- stamps with stamp pads
- Popsicle sticks and clothespins
- small dry erase boards with dry erase markers
- packs of origami paper
- cotton balls and pom-poms
- paper plates and paper cups
- pipe cleaners
- googly eyes
- craft feathers
- sheets of felt and foam
- recyclables: egg cartons, yogurt containers, cereal boxes, etc.
note: We are not ambitious enough to include paint, but if you have space and patience for that, paintbrushes, an easel and non-toxic paints would be a great addition to a craft station!
The simple things
In this parenting journey, I keep realizing that simple things (activities, toys, instructions, etc.) can be wonderful. I wrote a post about a super-simple craft activity we discovered at a recent trip to a children’s museum. This craft-in-a-bag activity also reinforced my suspicions that creativity can blossom in the simplest settings. I bet even a bag filled with sticks, grass, and rocks could provide plenty of inspiration for some type of creative adventure, given a bit of time, space, and glue sticks. 🙂
Do you have some type of craft station at home? I’d love to hear how you set it up, keep it stocked, and maintain the integrity of your space! We’ll take all the tips we can get :).
Learning Resources for Teachers, Tutors, and Parents
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