I don’t know about you, but as a full-time Photographer and stay at home mom who also homeschools her boys, life gets really busy around here. Housework, even a homemade dinner , errands, and sadly to my boy’s dismay, craft time just falls to the wayside.
Most Some days, I just wish there were more hours in the day. Surprisingly, after chatting with the ladies in my homeschool group, I found that they too felt the same way about crafting. We all simply felt that we did not spend enough time crafting but between our careers at home, teaching, field trips, sports, lego club…Well, you get the picture! You do not have to be homeschooling to feel the stress of daily life and realize that something’s just have to get pushed aside. So after much thought, I decided to host a monthly craft play date at my home, and my homeschool group jumped at the opportunity. Based on my most recent, and frankly first craft day, here is how to plan an easy, fall craft day:
- Decide, based on the space in your home, how many craft areas you have to available to work with. This will help you decide on how many crafts to do. ( I had 4 spaces to work with, so I decided on 4 crafts)
- Decide on how many children you will invite based on your space. (I decided 3 groups of 4 children. I knew that one craft would be completed pretty quick so I used the 4th craft as the place to go if you finished your craft.)
- Choose how much money you want to spend on crafts. Oriental Trading is an awesome place to shop for crafts, whether you want to be frugal or not with your crafting. But order 2 weeks ahead of time in order for everything to come in on time!
- Decide on a theme for your craft. Fall is the go to theme this time of year.
- Order your crafts now that you have everything you need! Everything came out to only $4 per child.( We made a fall wreath, weaved pumpkins, and a made a beaded leaf from Oriental trading. I had a ton of my own supplies of beads and string for our 4th choice.) Remember to consider the ages of the children attending when choosing your crafts. Many crafts can be difficult for little ones.
- If you want snacks, ask ahead of time for 1 or 2 other moms to provide those.(Don’t forget to check for food allergies) A fall themed snack would be awesome but a good friend, and fellow homeschooling mom, who just happens to have her own local food blog, Barefeet in the Kitchen, brought the yummiest dark chocolate brownies.
Images copyrighted by Jolie Anne Photography 2014
The Day of:
- My kids and I cleaned the whole house (a side benefit to having people over is your house gets cleaned) arranged the tables around the house so that kids were not on top of each other. Tablecloths were placed on the tables, plates and q-tips for the glue were put out, child safe scissors and a black sharpie (to write the names of the child on their craft) were placed at each area along with each craft.
- After everyone comes in, divide everyone up by age. I suggest keeping the 5’s and under together so parents are not trying to jump back and forth helping their kids. I found the 6’s and up needed no assistance, so my moms just followed the littles around from table to table.
- Before everyone heads to their tables, show them how to do each craft and then let the kids begin, keeping an eye on the clock so that not too much time is spent at each art table.
- Now its time to eat some yummy brownies, collect all of the completed crafts and say your good byes. (Then fall onto the couch and enjoy some wine or an extra brownie, you deserve it.)
The 11 kids that attended was the perfect size for my little house. Enough parents showed up to really help their littles with their crafts and us moms even participated in a few chat sessions. 4 crafts was a bit too much for the younger children, so if you have a lot of kids under the age of 6, I would suggest only 3 crafts. All in all, our first fall craft day was a blast. I can not wait for our next one.