When I plan a birthday party, my first thought is the cake. My second thought is the food. My absolute, very last thought in the planning process is what games are we going to play. My assumption is that the kids will get there, eat some food, and run around in circles having the time of their life, while we adults try to block out the noise and have a semblance of a conversation. However, kids seem to have expectations here. This has resulted in awkward situations of children asking what games we are going to play and Luke and I desperately googling some easy last minute games. And its worked okay. But something that's been a hit as of late at our parties is CRAFTS. This is a double bonus for me because 1) I love kid art and 2) apartments like ours are not always conducive to wild and crazy games involving tons of kids. Other benefits are that kids can do them as they please, so no need to wrangle 20 kids at once AND the crafts can double as party favors. WIN. WIN. WIN! So here it goes.. some of my favorite party crafts from the last few years...
Set up a table of assorted "beads" and let kids turn make their own wearable treat! You can purchase actual candy necklace beads, or go to the candy aisle and pick up whatever has a hole through it. Lifesavers are a bit too sticky, but gummy lifesavers, mints and cut-up Twizzlers are a few great options to get you started.
Most quick print shops like FedEx Office or Staples offer large-format black and white posters for just a few dollars. Find any free coloring sheet online, at a website like ActivityVillage or AZColoring, and get it printed out as large as 36x48 inches. Put this on the wall and kids can color and go as they please. Whats even cooler? Hang it up, post-party, in your kid's bedroom and they can enjoy their friends' work for the whole year!
Again this is a win for you. Not only do the kids have a blast, but you don't have to spend hours intricately decorating cookie by cookie. You may not have a roll of pinterest worthy photos, but you'll definitely have some adorable pictures of your kids making delicious food art.
During one of our many princess parties, I cut up a big sheet of yellow posterboard and set out all of the miscellaneous stickers, paints and glitter I've stored up over the last couple of years. Its a great way to purge your craft closet and entertain a bunch of kids! They had so much fun making their own crowns. For a superhero party, you could make masks. Or for a more generic party, kids can decorate their own party hats.
Overall, the best party crafts are the ones that are simple enough for kids to do on their own, yet also have some room for creativity to keep them occupied. After doing crafts at a couple of parties, I had kids asking "What craft are we doing?" at the next! Its a great alternative to the same old party games. Have you done some great party crafts? Let me know in the comments. I've got approximately 23 more parties to plan until all of my children hit the double-digits, at which point they can plan their own parties!
Luke and I are married and have four little munchkins that travel the world with us. I blog about living overseas, travel, kids, education and graphic design.
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