Crafts are activities that kids of all ages can do. Working with a large group of kids most often calls for crafts that don't require a lot of preparation and are inexpensive. With only a few common craft materials and some ideas in mind, you can entertain all those kids with hands-on activities.
Purchase small wood shapes in variety packs for quick and cheap painting projects for kids. The kids can use acrylic or tempera paints to decorate the wooden shapes, and add craft eyes, feathers, buttons or other available items. They can glue a loop of plastic lacing to the top of one painted wooden shape for an ornament or doorknob hanger. Have kids stretch a wire clothes hanger into a circular shape, and tape or glue several wooden shapes onto the wire to make a wreath. Provide yarn or plastic lacing for kids to braid into necklaces, bracelets or key chains. They may glue one or more wooden shapes onto their braided jewelry.
Kids of all ages can create bead crafts. Provide age-appropriate beads for the kids to string onto yarn for jewelry or for strands to hang from a clothes hanger for a wind chime. Older children can follow a pattern to make animals from pony beads and plastic lacing. Have the kids push colorful beads onto chenille stems and bend the stems into holiday shapes like hearts or candy canes. Kids can tie a wooden bead onto the ends of several leather lacing pieces. They should tie the top of the lacing together for a handle and shake the beads to create a sound.
Kids can create a variety of things from craft sticks. They can paint one stick to make a bookmark or plant poke. Four or more craft sticks make an easy picture frame. Kids can shape a box from painted or plain craft sticks, gluing each corner as they build up the box. They can create a lid to fit on the box, if they wish. Challenge the kids to form animals, buildings, cars, trains or dioramas with craft sticks, paint and glue.
Kids can transform spring clothespins into useful items. Have them glue clothespins, with the gripper end facing upward, all around a juice can. They can paint the clothespins or use markers to decorate them. Use the project as a pencil holder with a bonus of noteholders all around the edge. Glue a magnet onto one flat side of a clothespin. Have the kids draw a design or write their name on the clothespin for a refrigerator magnet note holder. The kids can create butterflies with clothespins. Drip droplets of paint onto a wet baby wipe so the paint will spread out into a design. Gather the dried wipe in the center. Push a chenille stem through the wire hole in the clothespin. Twist the stem around the center of the gathered wipe. Spread out the sides of the wipe to form butterfly wings. Make caterpillars with clothespins and colorful poms to glue onto one flat side of the clothespin.