Krafternoon meets every 3rd Wednesday from 3 to 5pm in our Programs Room. It's a drop-in program for school agers up to 12 years old. As with all our programs, there's no cost or registration. We typically set up 4-6 tables and a few chairs per table. We've recently begun playing kid-friendly music through our sound system to make the program seem more fun and inviting.
This program is staffed by one person each hour and kids get to take their creation home. While in the past we've had events that span multiple sessions (such as papier mâché) these are primarily one-off activities.
In the past we've printed directions for each table, but since getting our program room technology functioning, we're able to project directions and inspiration images on the wall. We still make some use of printed signs when there is more than one option for the day. My co-worker and I will often make a prototype but rarely display it to encourage creativity by minimizing copying.
Some of the activities we've done include:
  • creating with Crayola Model Magic clay - This clay air dries and can be painted after drying. We provided instructions on painting creations at home. We originally purchased this supply for a spooky pen, one of my personal favorite projects.
  • creating a mural for our office windows out of contact paper and die cut shapes - This was done to promote our publicly available die cut machine. (More on that in a future post)
  • miniature works of art and tiny easels to display them on
  • building with marshmallows and toothpicks
  • painting with marbles
  • blown ink art - This proved a challenging concept for a lot of the early elementary participants. We used watered down tempera paint, dropped it on paper with the end of a straw, and used the same straw to blow the paint around. After it dried, we provided markers and paper to turn the resulting blob into a creature. Here is my inspiration.
  • gooey fun with flubber, oobleck and homemade playdough - Very messy and very fun, we provided  playdough, tools and oobleck-making materials to use in the room, and set up a station to make flubber to take home. Here's where having a sink in the Programs Room comes in very handy.
  • grab bags - This simple event took advantage of leftover supplies, as well as a HUGE stash of paper sacks. Each bag was loaded with a random assortment of supplies. We set out things like glue, scissors, and markers on each table. After selecting a bag (no peaking!), each person got to work creating something. Unwanted items could be placed in a community pot for use by someone else.
Last summer, this event focused solely on open play with recyclables. It was fun to see what the kids came up with, but it was a lot to collect and store. 

We'd love to share more details on any of these events. Comment below to get in touch!

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