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Monday, October 10, 2011


It’s never too early to start thinking about Christmas or Hanukkah. This is the time of year when you begin to see holiday craft shows and bazaars springing up at schools, churches, malls, and street fairs. Why not organize a Children’s Holiday Gift Workshop for your local PTA, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, or Sunday school? Simply follow the steps below. -- AP

1. Present your idea to the organization. Have samples of projects to show. Choose an appropriate date two to three weeks before the holidays (either after school, an evening, or on a weekend,) and ask for parent volunteers. The number of volunteers needed will depend on the number of kids involved, but it’s essential that you have enough volunteers.

2. Discuss cost. You can either charge a minimal amount to cover the cost of supplies or slightly more to make the workshop a fundraiser for the organization.

3. Choose three to five simple craft projects which can be completed in the allotted time. Check older Monday posts at Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers. We’ve featured simple kids’ crafts in the past. You can also find kids’ craft projects online and in books at the library. Chose projects suitable to give as gifts to a mother, a father, and a sibling. If making for or five gifts, the remaining ones should be neither age nor gender specific so that they can be given to grandparents or other siblings. Refrigerator magnets for hanging school papers are a good choice as are holiday ornaments and picture frames.

Make sure the projects you choose are appropriate to the age of the children who will be attending the workshop. You want them to have an enjoyable experience and leave with both a sense of accomplishment and nice-looking presents to give to their family. A project that is too difficult will only frustrate the child and produce less than pleasing results.

Stay away from projects that require extra equipment such as ovens or ones which need excessive drying time. Ideally, you want the children to be able to wrap and label the gifts before leaving. If a project requires paint, substitute markers, crayons, or colored pencils.

4. Display a sample of each project a big poster announcing the workshop in a high traffic area of the school, library, recreation center, church, or synagogue where the workshop will take place.

5. Send a registration flyer home with the children. The registration deadline should be two weeks prior to the event. You’ll need this extra time for preparation. On the registration form, list the cost of the workshop and the gifts that will be made. Mention that each will be wrapped and labeled before the child leaves. Ask again for parent volunteers. You can also do registration through email if you prefer.

6. Once you receive all the registration forms, you’ll need to purchase supplies. Calculate how much of each material you’ll need plus colored tissue paper or wrapping paper and yarn to wrap each item. In addition, purchase small self-adhesive labels for each gift, plastic zipper bags for each gift, and a brown paper bag for each child. Place all the components for each craft project in a plastic bag. Place all the plastic bags in the paper bag.

Don’t forget any tools you’ll need, such as scissors, pencils, tape, rulers, crayons, glue etc. You should be able to borrow many of these from the school, church, etc., but make sure you have enough. Children should be encouraged to share tools, but you’ll need enough per group so that you finish in the allotted timeframe.

7. On the day of the event, give each child a paper bag. Divide the children up among the volunteers. Depending on the age of the children, you’ll want one adult for every five to eight children. Before beginning, have each child write his name on his paper bag.

The volunteers should have all the children work on the same project at the same time. As each project is completed, have the child wrap, tie with the yarn, write the recipient’s name on the label, then place the label on the gift and place the gift back in the paper bag.

8. Don’t forget to involve the children in the clean-up afterwards. All scraps need to be thrown away and tables wiped before leaving. You may want to reward the children with a cookie or some other treat as they leave.

Post a comment to enter the drawing for a copy of a book from our Book Club Friday guest author. -- AP

1 comment:

Kathy said...

Kids really love to do crafts. I put together small 20 minutes projects for my first graders to do at recess when they're stuck inside due to bad weather. For Halloween we're making spiders with beads and pipe cleaners.