Play dates are a helpful way to encourage social development in kids. I’m trying to provide more of these opportunities for Pooky. Recently, I hosted a crafting playdate. It was a lot of fun, but it was also a learning experience.
Here are my tips for hosting a successful crafting playdate.
- Allow for free play time first before the more structured crafting begins so the kiddos can get out the wiggles.
- Protect your surfaces. I found a coloring tablecloth at Target that gave us added entertainment while protecting my tabletop. I also got some paper placemats from the dollar store that helped define each child’s space and could be removed once they got too messy.
- Have your materials ready to go so there is no downtime (that’s when chaos ensues).
- Skip the paint. This is probably a no-brainer for most of you, but there was a cute snowman craft I really wanted to do. I had warned the moms ahead of time, and we were using washable tempera paint, so we didn’t have any painting catastrophes (although we did have a mess). The problem was that the paint didn’t dry in the time allotted for it, so we couldn’t finish the craft (though the moms took them home to complete them).
- Simpler is better. We did one craft with paint, one with glue, and one with just stickers. Guess which one was the favorite? The simpler sticker craft. Even the littlest ones could fully participate on their own with no problems.
- Practice the craft(s) ahead of time so you can pinpoint possible problems. (I had practiced the snowman painting ahead, but I’d used a slightly different egg carton, and that apparently made a big difference in drying time.)
- Be flexible. Nothing will ever go as planned, especially when kids are involved. But more fun is usually had when things happen organically.
- Keep the numbers low. Although large groups are fun, you can connect with each other (and manage the chaos better) in smaller numbers.
- Make sure you have some kind of take-home bags (party favor bags, paper lunch sacks, or plastic grocery bags) handy to take home the crafts and any other parting goodies. (I sent everyone home with a bit of homemade play dough to keep the fun going.)
And now for a few more fun pics from our crafting playdate.
Need ideas for kid crafts? Try this sock snowman craft.
Or for even more ideas, follow me on Pinterest.