Sunday, February 7, 2010

Kid Central — Crafts, Projects, and Games

Originally, this was a post for my Valentine's party, but the activities—with a few minor tweaks—are terrific for any time of year.

So...I'll be linking this post to the summer blog party hosted by At the Picket Fence.

There are many wonderful ideas to draw from to make every day special for kids.

Here is just a sampling of fun crafts, games, and projects to keep your brood busy for Valentine's Day and beyond.

Having taught children of all ages—for over twenty years—I consider myself fairly seasoned at providing creative activities to keep youngsters busy, while they're also having a good time.

One of my main mantras, in that endeavor, has always been keep it simple, inexpensive, and fun!

Using items you probably already have on hand is the best way to do just that.

If you work with children—your own or someone else's—there are certain items that are considered staples for kids' crafts:
  • Paper (plain and colored)
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Pens, pencils, markers, and crayons
Add these few extras to that collection, to ensure even more creative fun: 
  • Empty toilet paper or paper towel tubes
  • Tissue paper
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Glitter 
  • Buttons 
  • Cotton balls
  • Kid-safe paints

These first two projects–LoveBug and Cupid–could not be more adorable! And their simplicity of design and craft level makes them appropriate choices for a range of ages.

For summer fun, substitute some of the great ideas over at Enchanted Learning for the Cupid. 

Of course, the butterfly is still seasonally appropriate.

If you bake cupcakes on a regular basis, you already have the main ingredient for the next two ideas—Puffy Heart Decoration and Tissue Flowers.

You can use the paper liners—probably already on hand—or tissue paper. Just add cardstock and pipe cleaners and voila!

Kids and crayons just seem to go together like peanut butter and jelly.

But, how often do you end up with crayon stubs and the dilemma of what to do with them—keep them or throw them out.

Stained Glass Hearts puts those little pieces to good use.

You could choose a summer-related shape to your liking, to substitute for the hearts.

We all know kids just want to have fun! And why not?

Provide some wholesome entertainment for them, and then join in on the activities!

We're all familiar with the game Bingo–this one just has a sweet Valentine's twist!

Why not use gummy worms, fish, or frogs in place of the conversation hearts—to tie in to summer?

Do you believe learning should be fun?  Want to teach logic and reasoning skills?

Giving children the opportunity to discover what's different in two seemingly identical pictures accomplishes both tasks.

I can assure you, there are more differences in this Sweetheart pair than might be apparent at a quick glance. Can you find all ten?

There is a seemingly infinite pool of ideas online—something many of us didn't have the advantage of years ago.

So…what are you waiting for? Grab the kids and get busy! 

(NOTE:  The giveaway below has already been won.  But keep checking back for others in the future.) 

To encourage your budding crafter's creativity, I've added today's final addition to this week's giveaway.

It's something I call a Young Crafter's Starter Kit. 

It's sure to keep them positively engaged for hours.

Wow! It's hard to believe we're already at the end of one full week of party love.

Tomorrow evening, I will be announcing the winner of the first giveaway in the Fourteen Days of Love...

and the very first giveaway at the Brambleberry Cottage!

1. Jenn Raley

2. Donna

3. Marilyn


  1. Those stained glass hearts are neat - would be fun to have around for big kids too! :) This post, which I thought would be more challenging, was actually much easier and so enjoyable for me to do. Maybe it's just into he groove of the posting challenges ... but it was fun! This has been fun. Thanks! Jenn

  2. My cable connection unplugged w/my last comment, just as I hit "comment". Did you get it? I had fun listing the 10 things different in the photo and asked how to make the stained glass hearts. :) Jenn

  3. Duh on my part - I missed the 'stained glass hearts' links! :\ Glad I was able to surprise you w/my kid craft ... A thanks to my friend's mom, Mrs. S. :) Jenn

  4. I have enjoyed the week with all your ideas! Great idea!

  5. Such great ideas, my granddaughters usally do the same thing I'm doing when I have a project. I supply their own glue, paper, scissors etc. It's always fun.
    Tin and sparkle

  6. This is a really cute post.
    I have had some trouble with my site the last couple days. Almost forgot to come link up with you. Sorry 'bout that.
    xo bj

  7. What a fun post! I might try the Stained Glass Hearts myself. My kids are grown and will just roll their eyes at me. But they'll be pretty in my dining room window!

  8. Aww so look so pretty..i will try butterfly with my daughter ..thank you///i would love if you stop by at my blog...thanks


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