Tween Craft Ideas #fizzboomread

Crafts for 8 to 10 year olds

This summer I’ve been running a weekly craft program for kids.  By trial and error over the years, I’ve developed a list of favorite go-to crafts, ones that are cheap, easy to explain and let the kids have fun.  I’ve also realized that crafts that work for 8 to 10 year olds are often too hard or frustrating for younger kids or ones that have problems with manual dexterity.  Since my program is an open one, with kids as young as three showing up (with their parents), I try to have an alternative, related craft.  Failing that, I try to have activity sheets.  These crafts are also successful with teens.

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Decoupage is the art of placing cut pictures onto objects.  You can make so many things. I usually use recycled materials such as jars (both plastic and glass work).  This summer I purchased pencil boxes from Oriental Trading.  CAUTION: if using Mod Podge, do this project in a well-ventilated area.  For younger children, a mixture of watered down school glue can be substituted, but the results from Mod Podge produce a shiny, clear surface.

Materials:P1100211
  • Mod Podge
  • sponge brush
  • colored tissue paper ( I purchased mine precut in tiny squares)
  • pictures cut out of magazines or printed

Start by applying tissue paper to your object with Mod Podge.  The pictures are then applied over the tissue paper. The biggest hurdle with this project is explaining that the “glue” goes over the top of the pictures.  Some children avoid getting the top of their picture messy and thus do not get the shiny, protective surface.  Other children go to town and apply way too much, leaving huge globs of Mod Podge and an uneven surface.  Gently apply a thin layer of Mod Podge, stick down the tissue paper, then swab more over the top of the paper.  Remind your class that you can go around corners- there should be no pieces sticking out.  Apply your cut out pictures and swab over them as well.  This project dries pretty  quickly, but can be sticky to the touch for about a day, so send your participants home with their project on a paper plate (check to make sure they have not glued their project to the plate by mistake!)  We get a lot of great pictures from women’s magazines, catalogs and celebrity magazines.  Kids can also cut out letters for a “ransom note” style sign.

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Foil Art

Materials:

  • thin aluminum foil sheets (I’ve found disposable lids for casserole dishes work well)
  • mouse pads or thick magazines to use as a surface
  • pieces of paper
  • pens
  • inspiration for pictures- drawing books, pre-made icons or examples
  • colored permanent markers (washable will not work)

Prepare before the class by cutting the aluminum sheets into pieces at least 5 inches square (rectangles work great too.)  CAREFULLY fold over the edges of the pieces.  These are seriously sharp.  A popsicle stick works great for smoothing the fold.  The object is to make the pieces safe.  For teens, they can do this step after a safety lecture.

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Have kids draw the picture they want on a piece of paper.  The picture is going to be embossed, so simple images work best.  Put the foil piece on a mouse pad.  Place the paper over the front side of the foil piece, and trace over the outlines of the picture, pressing down hard but avoiding punching through.  Once the outline is clear, turn the piece over and use a retracted pen or wooden stylus to go back and forth inside the outline, which will create a raised surface on the other side.  When that is complete, turn it over and gently color the picture with Sharpie markers.  The pieces can be hung up as decorations.  A paperclip works great as a hole puncher, and pipe cleaners or thin wire work great for hanging.  A series of pieces could be hung together as a string.

Duct Tape Wallets

Materials:

  • Duct tape- at least 3 rolls of regular grey, and 4-5 rolls of specialty colors and designs
  • black electrical tape
  • scissors

Duct tape can be a wonderful tool, or a frustrating sticky mess.  Working with Duct tape is best kept to kids 10 and older.  Why?  Even my 14 year old struggles to rip duct tape, and if you have to cut it with scissors, the likelihood of it sticking to itself increases.  Working with this material takes patience and care.  There are now many products to make working with duct tape easier, including flat sheets. After a very frustrating session, I realized I hadn’t done my homework.  Duct tape pros use a smooth plastic cutting board to stick tape down, they have tricks for making smooth edges and neat lines.

ducktivitiesplain-wallet-final_resizedDuck Tape Wallet instructions.

You don’t have to make a wallet- there are hundreds of duct tape books out there, showing you how to make bags, clothing, boxes and many other fun things.  I just made a bust of John Barrowman (don’t ask).  CAUTION: doing a google search may show you cases of both human and animal abuse.  NEVER put duct tape directly on your skin or on an animal.

Other ideas:

  • zentangle drawings
  • acrylic painting
  • braiding and paracords
  • learn a skill- hand sewing, knitting…
  • painting ceramics or metal figurines

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