When I’m not doing other Clutterific things, I like to spend my time encouraging kids in the community. I’m a *proud* Girl Scout leader, and try my best to think of ways I can build them up. I truly believe that children need to know that adults in their lives, other than their family, truly care about them. I don’t have my own little Girl Scout yet, but I enjoy every second I get to spend with the energetic ladies in my troop.
The girls drew the short straw as far as crafty leaders go, though! But I try to be a positive role model for them and teach them to work with what the Good Lord gave them, so all of our crafts are Erika-proof. They’re simple, cheap, and FUN for the girls. That last one is the most important, folks. Kids don’t care about the size of your wallet; they care about the size of the smile on your face and the one you put on theirs!
My girls are late elementary school through early middle school age, so that’s my target age range for their crafts.
The girls wanted to do a little scrapbooking activity to earn their Photography badges. After shopping around, I realized that scrapbooking can be a very expensive hobby. There was also the problem of, “If we create a scrapbook, who gets to keep it?” So, after a trip to a local “everything” store, and our equivalent of the dollar store (I don’t live in the US), I was inspired! I came up with a Clutterversion of scrapbooking for kids.
The supply list can be tweaked in so many ways, depending on your budget and what you have available. Here is what I bought:
1) Different colored art mats for displaying their “scrapbook” collages. You could use just about anything here. They could mount everything on poster board or put everything in an inexpensive frame. I found these and loved them because they had a thin and durable plastic cover to protect their projects.
2) Things for decorating. These applique patches were 3/$1 (US dollars), so I was able to buy several. I also stocked up on glitter-glue, stickers, markers, glue sticks and colored pencils.
3) Scissors. We already had some on hand in our craft supplies, but these were $1 each and I thought the girls would enjoy them. This was a completely unnecessary $6 expensive, but our troop got a scissor upgrade that should last us a while.
4) Colored paper. You could use construction paper, tissue paper, or even colored computer paper! I purchased a combination of colored computer paper and origami paper for a whopping total of $8.
5) Pictures! (Oddly enough, not pictured!) I had originally planned on printing them on photo paper, but realized the girls would probably cut them into different shapes so I saved the money and printed them on (gasp) normal computer paper. Guess what? No one minded one bit, and no one asked why they were on normal paper. See? Kids don’t care! They just want to have fun!
Our total for supplies came out to less than $4 per girl. Not bad!
I cut out the pictures before our meeting and made sure everyone had a copy of the group shots, but also had special ones of each girl. I separated them out by girl just to avoid the drama of “but I want that picture.” God love ’em, they can get silly about stuff sometimes so it’s just easier to try and make things “fair” from the start.
Oh, I also made them a cake. We usually try and do a healthy snack, but a little cake here and there won’t kill ya’. Also, we were celebrating something as a group so we made an exception.
Y’all knew I would find something to Clutter up, didn’t you? I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t find something to “mess up.” The thing about this “mess up” is, once again, kids don’t care!
But enough with the cake, and back to the craft. Basically, I just let the kids go nuts decorating their own projects.
Make sure they make a big ol’ mess. If they don’t, they’re not having enough fun and you need to go and start making everything nice and sloppy.
And when one of the kids apologizes for “ruining” your tablecloth, just smile and remind them that’s what it’s there for. Take a lesson from the little squirts and remember that life doesn’t have to be pretty and tidy to be FUN. Wonky cake tastes just as great as a perfect one.