Arts and Craft projects are one of the cornerstones of camp activities and a staple for any camp. It is important when going into a camp that you plan and organize your craft projects so your campers get what’s expected from those activities. Here are some tips in managing your arts and crafts:
1) Have a plan. Find examples of what type of projects you want to complete and get a list of necessary craft supplies.
2) Look into craft kits that have all the supplies needed to complete the project. They may be pricier but will often save you a lot of time and effort.
3) Keep a detailed inventory of all your arts and crafts supplies. It will make your ordering a lot easier and ensure you have enough supplies for the entire duration of camp.
4) Order your supplies well ahead of time and make sure to order enough to get you through the entire camp. The last thing you want to do is have to make store runs or orders in the middle of camp. If you have done everything above you will know exactly what you need to fit your camp’s needs.
5) Limit waste. Control how much supplies you give out and keep anything that is left over. You can keep left overs in a bin and on those days you need an extra activity, pull the left overs out and let the campers pick what they want to work on.
Here are some tips in coordinating your arts and crafts projects:
1) Choose creative crafts that kids can use, for example:
Drawing, coloring, and paper crafts can be fun, but most of it will end up in the trash after the project is done. Getting something they can use throughout camp will go a long way and the kids will enjoy those crafts much more.
2) Limit the amount of supplies you give out for the project such as paint, glue or markers to reduce waste and avoid running out. You can always give out more if they run out, but you won’t be able to re-use some things that are given out so always start with less.
3) Demonstrate how to do the craft first and always have a finished product campers can see. Some campers, especially the younger groups, may take a long time to decipher the instructions themselves and complete the craft. If they have a demo or a visual it will help ensure they can finish the project in the allotted time.
4) Cover up everything prior to starting your craft project. Table covers work great and are easy to clean. If you are not cleaning up before and after every craft project, your arts and craft areas will get unorganized very quickly.
5) Make sure your time slot fits the time needed for the craft. Some projects will be finished very quickly and some take a lot more time. Plan accordingly and always have a back up plan in case things don’t go as planned.
6) Keep it simple. Some projects are just not feasible in the allotted time or with the supplies available at camp. They may look great on the surface but when trying to complete these large complicated projects with a large group of kids, it can go south quick. Keep your projects simple so they include limited supplies, easy instructions, and can be completed in the time allotted.
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Just like anything else within your camp, having a plan and staying organized will make sure your arts and crafts projects are always a success. Provide the tools, time, and space needed for your campers to do arts and crafts projects and you will be amazed at what they will be able to create at camp!
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Jason Schaitz, MBA, CPRE
Jason is a Parks and Recreation Director with over 15 years’ experience coordinating youth programs, camps, sports, and recreation activities. He also created and manages The Summer Camp Source with the goal of providing free high quality resources for any type of camp, youth recreation or childcare program. Take your program to the next level by visiting our website for free resources and education!