Thursday, October 18, 2012

31 Days, 31 Smiles {Day 18}: How Do You...Do Crafts With Multiple Kids?


How do you do crafts with multiple kids at once (and not lose your cool)?
We're talking this month about having fun, right?  Without losing our cool, right?  Well, trying to lead all five of my kids in a craft project at the same time is enough to send me to the looney bin.  Gavin doesn't like how he folded his paper.  Benjamin is talking and wants my full attention.  Maddie is slooooow-ly doing each step...about four steps behind the rest of us.  Owen can't reach the markers and Alaine needs help with everything

Craft time can be frustrating, but I'm not willing to give it up.  There are several ways I attempt to alleviate the stress of craft time overload.  
  1. If I plan to have all five kids participate, I make sure it is either super easy or that I know the instructions well.  I rarely have enough time to make an example ahead of time, but I want to be fairly confident that all the steps "work." 

  2. Work in shifts.  I may call Owen (6) to the table while Benjamin (4) is watching TV and the older kids are out with the dog.  A little later, Maddie (8) and Gavin (9) can get started on their own.  Benjamin can join us when he's ready and then I can sit down and help Alaine (2) as everyone else is finishing up. 

  3. Assign partners.  If my craft is mostly aimed at the little kids, I'll ask Gavin and Maddie to be helpers for their younger siblings.  I can still be the leader, but I have extra sets of hands. 

  4. If the craft is for the older kids, we work during nap time so the littlest kids don't feel left out and don't get in the way. 

  5. Sometimes we'll have a craft morning with another family.  While this adds more kids to the mix, the kids enjoy being together while they work and the families can share inspiration and share art supplies.

 How do you do crafts with multiple kids (without losing your cool)?  Let us know in the comments. 

Also, if you have a question for a future "How Do You...?" post, share that in the comments, too, or send me an e-mail! I'd love to hear from you. 


  1. we barely do crafts because i fear the looney bin.

    but when we made those cinnamon ornaments last Christmas, we did shifts. as in INDIVIDUAL shifts.

    i need to get over my fear of the looney bin, and keep my cool, huh?!

  2. These are really good tips. So far with the twins this hasn't been much of a problem, but now that their little brother is getting older and will want to join in, I need some strategies for supervising all three kids as they work on their art projects. Thanks for sharing!


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