How To Do a Craft Party — And Help Kids Create a Craft Gift for the Holidays
While children love to receive gifts, they also like to give them. Throwing a Holiday Craft Party is the perfect way to help kids think more about giving than getting. It’s also a time to inspire creativity and individuality. There are far more “pros” than “cons” when it comes to crafting with kids.
But when you’re on a tight budget, it can be a bit difficult to gather all the materials needed to complete even one craft item.
Michaels, Hobby Lobby, Jo-Ann’s, A.C. Moore — and other craft and hobby stores — offer lots of products and ideas. But trying to put them together and narrow the selections down to one or two relatively easy and inexpensive projects can sometimes be a problem. To help, I would like to introduce you to another online store that offers some terrific craft items.
Discount School Supply focuses primarily on children’s products that can be used in educational settings. DSS carries toys, craft items, educational items, and play sets. While teachers may be familiar with the company already, it’s also a great resource for anyone who frequently entertains children at home. Keep reading for a preview of some great craft items, available at Discount School Supply, that are perfect for a holiday craft party.
Let’s Get That Party Started
Make sure you’re prepared for a room full of kids. Don’t throw a party if you’re going to be stressed or aggravated the whole time!
- Let children create their own invitations for friends and classmates. Pick up some colored construction paper, crayons, glue and stickers (check the scrapbook aisle for extra fancy decorations), and have your child create an invitation that reflects his or her own sense of style. Make sure the end design will fit into a mailing envelope without too much fuss. Invite as many children as you’d like, though I suggest no more than 12 at the most.
- Set up an area for the kids to create. This can be inside or outside. Either way, you need a large table to fit the number of children comfortably. If you need to, set up two tables and divide the children into groups.
- Cover floors if necessary. It’s no fun for kids when adults are running around telling them to be neat, especially when they are trying to be creative. If you’re worried about the floor or carpet, put down a protective covering under the table and chairs. You can pick up a painter’s drop cloth at any of the home supply retailers (Home Depot, Lowes), or pick up some cheap vinyl tablecloths and use them to cover the floor. Just be careful to make sure they lay flat and the kids aren’t tripping all over them. By the way, you can cover the tables this way as well.
- Keep distractions to a minimum. Tell children that the craft table is only for crafts — no toys, games or TV. Keep drinks available in another area, but let kids know that snacks and drinks will be available after their projects are completed. There’s no need to offer anything elaborate — for a short party a piece of cake and some drinks will do. Be sure to include what will be available for eating and drinking on the invitation, so parents are aware.
- Think about the containers you need to hold supplies. You want to make sure that all the kids have access to the materials (glue, glitter, paint, markers, etc.) that they’ll need to complete their project. Use sturdy paper plates, cheap terra cotta planters, baskets, plasticware, etc., to hold the items in sufficient quantities for the kids.
- Distribute fairly. Be sure that all kids get the same project and have access to the same materials. You don’t want any tears.
- Stay positive and supportive! When all the children have finished their projects, be sure to commend each on their accomplishment. If they created the item for a gift, it would be great to either have special gift bags or wrap available for them, or have them create a gift bag themselves, as part of the party.
DECORATING & SAFETY / You can pick up crayons, paints, markers, glitter, stickers, t-shirts, foam kits, and all kinds of things from your local craft stores. Check store suggestions for what works best on specific products. If a sticker doesn’t stick, take out the glue. Just be careful with the kids. Buy materials appropriate for the age groups that will be participating in the party. For example: Beads are a choking hazard for toddlers.
Discount School Supply Crafts for Kids
Following are just a few of the items that are fun, unique and affordable projects worthy of a holiday craft party.
Create-a-Calendar — We all need a new calendar at the end of the year. It’s the perfect holiday gift. Here is a spiral-bound, 9” x 12” calendar ready for kids to decorate. Usable for any year, kids can create a design for every month and fill in important dates (like their birthday!). Set of 12 for $18.99.
Papier-Mache Accordian Album — Kids can make this a photo album if they’d like, or simply decorate. Adding personal messages will make it really special. There are four panels and each measure 5″ wide x 7″ high. Folds easily and closes with a tie. Set of 12 for $10.99.
Create Your Own Keychains — Everyone needs a key ring and there’s nothing nicer than carrying one created from a child you love. Set comes with 12 plastic keychains with hardware, plastic covers and backings in 4 each of 3 shapes: circle, heart and star, plus 24 paper inserts (2 per key chain). $5.99 per set.
Decorate Your Own Pot Holders — With all the cooking and baking that goes on at holiday time, there’s no better gift than a pot holder. This is great for kids to present to anyone who bakes a decent cookie. Each pot holder measures 7-3/4″ square and all you need to decorate with are fabric markers. Set of 12 for $11.99.
Decorate Your Own Tissue Box — Lots of us buy special tissue boxes for the holiday season. Why not let the kids create one instead? Measuring 4.5″ square x 5″ high, these boxes are designed to fit over the disposable tissue boxes bought at the store. Made of precut, sturdy paper, a set of 12 costs $7.99.
Wooden Desktop Organizer — This is a great gift for kids to make for moms and dads who work in an office. And what a great memento for parents to appreciate during the course of a work day. Made of wood, it’s only 3.5″ high and 4″ wide, so it doesn’t take up much space. $15.99 for a set of 12.
Decorate Your Own Teddy Bear — This is a great gift for kids to create for a friend or sibling. Dogs are also available. Kids can paint, glue and draw on these stuffed toys. A great partner project would be a gift tag that could be decorated and tied to the bear with colored curling ribbon. The bears are 8″ high and you can get a set of 12 for $16.99.
Clear Star Ornaments — Ornaments are a huge part of the Christmas holidays. Everyone should have at least one that their child created. Discount school supply offers a line of plastic ornaments that can be filled with glitter and colored confetti or painted. Tie a ribbon to the top and it’s ready to hang. Shapes include stars, balls and hearts. You can get a set of 12 stars for $6.95.
Craft Bags With Handle — You need something to put that gift in. Why not let kids decorate a bag themselves? It’s a great way to help them complete their gift. There are different bags available, but this one is a great buy. It measure 8-3/4″ high and handles come in red, blue, yellow and green. $8.99 for a set of 24.
Photo (3 kids): © Stockbrokerxtra/Dreamstime.com; Photo (1 girl): © Krugloff/Dreamstime.com
Product Photography courtesy of Discount School Supply.