I’ll begin this with the truth: I am not crafty. When you work with children, a lot of crafts are expected, as they should be, but as I rack my brain every week trying to come up with ideas I can’t help but wonder…am I the only one? Am I the only one working in childcare completely clueless to crafting with kids? Probably not! Am I the only one that googles simple crafts because I’m the one who will struggle to make something and not the children? Again, I hope not! But! The best thing about working with kids is that they love simple things too. It does not have to be a grand design. So, if you are like me, here are some things that I managed to do with the children I look after (ages 4 & 6).
Crafting with kids made easy, colourful & fun
Here is a pipe cleaner spider. I bought pipe cleaners from Hema, a big pack with lots of colours! As you can see… I have youtube in the background telling me how to make them. Once I practiced myself a few times I was able to pass this valuable knowledge to the boys. Here is the video that I watched, it will explain it better than I ever could click here
Sometimes, I would plan something I thought was really cool, just for the boys to be completely unimpressed. It’s important to get to know the kids you look after. Mine really love pirates. So when my first plan wasn’t of interest I had to come up with something in the moment. (Yes, you read that right. A last minute craft! By yours truly!). We made pirate faces from paper plates! Always have paper plates and googly eyes around. Life savers.
I was surprised by how much they enjoyed this. Here our handsome pirates:
Following the thread of working around what my kid were interested in, I noticed they loved space! So, I got two empty jars and planets to colour in and stick to the jars. The theme is easy to change to what your kids prefer.
Trick or Treat
For halloween, we made cats! What you need is cardboard. (We used sparkly cardboard.) Curl this into a cone and staple it closed. Either draw a cat’s head and tail or print one and colour them in! Staple this to the cone body and there you have a trick or treat basket!
What About Baking?
I bet you’re wondering: Do you ever bake? The answer is yes and it usually ends terribly. Myself and Edouard (4) embarked on a grand adventure together making cookies!
2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 cup butter, softened
1 ½ cups white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
My French Family have a fan oven so I set it to 180 degrees. It’s supposed to take 10 minutes… 20 minutes later Edouard is asking where our cookies are. How do you explain that they are goop in a tray? The mixture was too wet ( I don’t know what I did). Anyway! If this ever happens to you, fear not! Just lower the temperature. I dropped it to 150 and they hardened into some crumbly goodness.
The next time we baked we made the simple rice crispy bun. Pour melted chocolate into a bowl of rice crispies and fill bun cases with the mixture. We added sprinkles for fun.
The next time we baked… Well, I thought I was making scones but they were not scones… they were more cookies! Here are the ingredients:
200g plain flour
2tsp baking powder
2 tbsp of milk
We have been learning numbers so Arthur (6) was very helpful in the weighing process while Edouard did some excellent crumbling of the flour, baking powder & butter. After these ingredients were crumbled they poured the raisins in. Arthur then helped beat the egg and Edouard poured it into the bowl. Then we mixed and added a tiny bit of milk so that the mixture came together. It went into a 180c oven for roughly 20 minutes.
Again, I think that it is important that you just have fun with the children rather than worry about the outcome. They will enjoy the process as much as you do!
Of course, whenever I am stuck for ideas, Le Repertoire provides new ideas weekly including both crafts and baking. As well as the weekly updates, the other women I work with share their creations for me to marvel at. There is also another blog article on weekly routine crafts!
Now that you know crafting with kids can be simple and fun you can start with one of these I created with my family..
Orla Griffin (CAP Petite Enfance, 2020-2021)