Saturday, September 12, 2015

Hugs for Grandparents - Drop-in Craft

Today I had a drop-in craft called "Hugs for Grandparents." Originally, I wanted to do a big Grandparents Day celebration with tea and snacks, a craft and games, but when I learned that the program would wind up falling before our September registration, I almost didn't have one at all.

I hated the idea of leaving Grandparents Day unobserved so I compromised with a toned-down, drop in craft and, actually, it was really fun!
I got the idea from Pinterest, which lead me to Last Minute DIY Valentines Day Ideas from a website called Built by Kids. I figured a life-sized hug would be easy, cheap, and fun for the kids. Plus, it wasn't too much to buy or prepare in case we didn't get much of a turn out--you never know with drop-ins. And we'd get to use up a bunch of old stuff!

I wound up having about 12 people show up and, to start, I had each kid (and one adult) lie with their top half across a sheet of white butcher paper. Then either their parents, grandparents, or I traced around their torso (I warned them before I got near their arm pits) to create their life-sized hug outline. Then they were set to start decorating!

I put out colored paper, scissors, crazy scissors, do-a-dot markers, regular markers, thick crayons, skinny crayons, scraps of fabric, feathers, glue, glue sticks, buttons and gems, heart doilies, and other pre-cut paper hearts we had leftover from Valentine's Day. (I couldn't find the pom-poms!)

The kids had a hard time lying down on the paper just right, but once we figured out the tracing kinks, they absolutely loved decorating themselves. I think this program had the perfect mix of structure and openness. And every single kid told me it was their first time getting traced. So this made it really fun and exciting!

Here are some kids and their grandparents hard at work:

And here are some of the finished projects:

This was super easy and fun. I was worried it would be too simple but even the adults enjoyed themselves!

What worked least: The kids had a hard time figuring out the right way to lie on the paper. I had to tell them to shift right and then shift down and then straighten out a whole bunch of times, but once they were situated, they were amazingly patient as we traced around them.

What worked best: They loved all the random stuff! Like shopping in a bargain bin is to adults, digging through the buttons and the fabrics for just the right things seemed thrilling to the kids. This was a total hit!

Sidenote: I am switching "what worked best" and "what worked least" so I can now end my posts on a positive note!

Happy Grandparents Day, everyone!

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