Crafts can be an excellent part of your kid’s birthday party! Here are some of the things my family has done to keep the kids, and grownups, entertained:
Decorate Pillow Cases
This was the perfect project for my 8 year old’s first slumber party. Setup time took longer than expected. But everybody had so much fun seeing what their designs would transform into!
You will need: cotton pillow cases, plastic cups, rubber bands, sharpie markers, 70% rubbing alcohol, and a dropper.
Before the party, stick several cups (right side up) in a pillow case. Smooth and secure the case over the cups with rubber bands. I chose to do 2 lines of 4 cups so that there would be room to write the kids’ names in the middle of the cases.
Once the guests arrive and you are ready for the project, seat everybody at a table. Cup-filled pillow cases in front of each chair, markers in the middle of the table. Instruct them to draw dots and other designs near the middle of the cup circles.
Once the designs have been drawn, have an adult (or supervised kids) drip 1 drop of rubbing alcohol at a time in the middle of their designs. Wait 2 or 3 seconds between drips and watch as the colors explode into a new pattern! … I purchased several small pipettes from www.SteveSpanglerScience.com so that each kid could apply rubbing alcohol to their own creations.
After the pillow cases have had several minutes to dry, you can set the color by throwing them in a hot dryer or with a hot iron. — I chose to put each child’s name on their pillow case with iron on transfers, so I just went over the marker with an iron while preparing the transfers.
Swords and Wands ‘” Defeat the bubbles!
How do you get a group of 6 year olds to sit still? — I have no idea! So I rounded up some supervising adults and let them have at it in a sword fight!
You will need: 2 sizes of wooden dowels, large wooden beads, plastic beads, feathers, foam sheets, scissors, permanent quick drying glue, foam markers, stickers, a bubble blower, and LOTS of adult supervision!
In the days before the party, prepare swords by cutting foam sheets into sword shapes. (Make a pattern to ensure that they are symmetrical and big enough to overlap the dowels by at least an inch on the “pointy” end.) Line up and glue two sword pieces together, with a wooden dowel inside to help hold its shape during play. – Make sure the foam sword tips extend an inch or so past the dowel. (a little safer if the hard part isn’t at the tip)
The dowels for the wands will need to be thin enough to go through the beads. You can prepare them by gluing one large wooden bead to the end of each dowel. For each dowel, glue feathers or other soft girly objects onto another large wooden bead. This second bead will serve as a topper after the girls place beads on their wands.
When the party has started and you are ready for craft time, let the sword makers decorate with stickers and markers. And tell the wand makers to decorate their stick with lots of pretty beads. .. Don’t be surprised if some kids want to do both swords and wands.
Top finished wands with the wooden bead toppers (containing feathers or whatever you chose). Set aside to dry for a few minutes.
Once the glue has set, remind everybody of the safety rules that go along with being a sword fighter. Give everyone their sword or wand, turn on the bubble blower, and challenge them to pop as many bubbles as they can!
Make Your Own Pull-String Pinata
For some kids, beating the candy stuffing out of a colorful pi±ata is the highlight of the party! For others, it is cruel and upsetting destruction. — My daughter falls into the second category. So, we make a pull string pinata.
You will need: an oatmeal canister, curling ribbon (like for helium balloons), paper, crayons, crepe streamers, scissors, and tape.
Make a trap door in the lid: In the end, you will want a kid to pull a piece of ribbon that opens the trap door and lets candy fall out. One idea is to cut a large hole in the lid and just tape it back together. Poke a ribbon through the cut piece and tie the end to a durable/hard grand prize (such as a water gun). — Set aside where the birthday kid will not be able to see where the trap door’s secret ribbon is located.
Add a string to the canister: Cut holes near the closed end of the canister. Insert ribbon or kite string so that you have a way to hang your pinata.
Decorate the canister: Tape a few sheets of paper around the oatmeal canister so that you have nice, blank canvas to color. Decorate with crayons and any other craft items you want to use.
Add Fringe: Cut fringe into the crepe streamers and tape them around the top and near the bottom of the canister.
Add the Strings: Tape several long (30 inches or so) ribbons to the lid of the pi±ata. You can also add more fringe to help disguise which ribbon is the magic one that will open the trap door. Just use small pieces of tape for this part and make sure not to let tape pieces overlap. ‘” you want most of the ribbons to fall of easily when tugged.
At the party, let each kid pull 1 ribbon at a time until the trap door is sprung!
What does your family like to do?