Apparently I’m to the point in my life where I need some accountability to be a good mother. I have really good intentions of doing everything I have pinned on Pinterest board called Kiddo Crafts.

But lets face it, that’s hard.

So I decided to host an art camp at my home this summer to encourage/force myself to follow through on bonding time with my little girls ages 7 and 9. I started making a list of friends to invite and I found it hard to stop. 22 girls later I was hosting art camp every Wednesday morning (5 sessions) for an hour.

Because apparently that isn’t hard. Yeeee hawwww!

I’m going to tell you the good, the bad and the ugly of how art camp turned out so in case you are craaaaazy enough to do this you can learn from my experience. My best idea was to work with a couple of girls from church and we did this together as a Young Women Project. The girls picked the crafts and came every week to set up and clean up. I could not have done it without them!! I charged $3 per week to recoup cost, not to make money. I used some of my own supplies from the recesses of my craft cupboard and definitely spent more money but I could accept that. The girls could come for any number of weeks because of course everyone travels during the summer. I had the moms tell me by Sunday whether they were coming that week or not. I invited girls ages 7-10 but opened it up to several girls ages 6 or 11 that were siblings.

Week One

This was the inspiration

This was the reality

Tips: My craft punches did not cut out the tissue paper well. Maybe because I bought them in 1997 (I did try sharpening them by punching tin foil)
It was hard even for me and the kids definitely couldn’t do it.
This only took about 20 minutes tops. Oops we have 40 minutes left. Must plan more for the next week.
This was the least expensive craft.

Week Two

Decided I needed two projects, one going at each table and then the girls would switch. Just to fill an hour.

Abstract Painted canvases inspired by my friend Nikki. The girls chose 3 colors and put dots of paint on the canvas and then brushed in (hopefully) one direction.

And as long as we are painting (I warned the moms)…. Painted pots which we planted the next week.

Tips: Every little artist is special and there is no wrong in art. Except maybe when you paint so much that the colors blend together to form a solid brownish avocado color. Ok it’s still special.

Week Three

Embellished Flip flops. I don’t have any pictures (I guess I was busy with 22 girls 🙂

This was the inspiration

I bought lots of bling, silk flowers on clearance, ribbon and searched the city for “Flip Flop Glue”

Tips: Don’t bother with flip flop glue. It didn’t work. I pulled out the glue gun which an adult had to use and some embellishments still didn’t stick.

The other craft was picking and planting the flowers for their pots.

Week Four

Washi Tape Letters

This was the inspiration

This was the reality

Our second craft was duct tape and feather pens. I heart duct tape but it is so darn sticky that sometimes I find it hard for little kids. For this craft I precut a length of tape for the pen so all they had to do was lay the pen on one side of the tape, stick their feathers on one side and then roll it up.

Tips: Find the letters on sale.
I loved this week, it was totally doable for this age group and it filled the time well.

Week Five

Painted canvas tote bags

This was the inspiration

And here is how it went

By using freezer paper, one color of paint plus white and a pencil eraser the girls made a really cute tote. I loved the ombre look!

The second craft was washer necklaces

This was the inspiration

And here is one crafter in progress

Tips: Don’t wait until the night before to find freezer paper at the store.
Go to Wal Mart to get it. Expect confused looks when you ask where to find it.
Cut and iron the bags before the girls come. I cut a variety of shapes and they chose their favorite.
Expect more special art like when they use the eraser like a paintbrush and end up with a solid area of paint

The moral of the story is:

Art camp was fun, my girls loved it, my boys didn’t love the house being overrun with girls. My husband thought I was crazy, but he already knew that. Will this be an annual summer art camp? Ask me next summer. Maybe it will be like childbirth and I will only remember the best parts.