Sunday, May 23, 2010

Question #101

Are you still making craft kits for your niece? What do you put in them each month?

Yes, I am still making them. The picture to the left is not one of the craft kits, I just like pictures when I blog so I've stuck a random picture of craft supplies up.. As for what I put them in them.. Each month varies. I try to base the kits on things that are happening each month. Because different things happen each month, the kids contents always change. A basic monthly kit should have: 1 audio book, 2 books, 1 science experiment, various crafts & recipes.
I've just finished up the June kit so it might be easiest to explain the contest with the month of June in mind. Bear in mind that I put each kit in it's own envelope and date it so she knows which day to open it on:

June 1st -- Amelia Earhart began her last solo flight today. I've put in an entire Amelia Earhart lapbook. I've assembled the lapbook and am sending her the info about Amelia and the instructions to know what to do with each little booklet. Information on making various Paper Airplanes. This month's Audio book happens to be about Amelia Earhart, so I've mentioned it in this kit as well.

June 4th -- Henry Ford drove his first Ford car on this day. I've included printables from this site for her to cut out and assemble. Because I printed out all the vehicle ones it's the only craft I've included in this box. However, I did mention how she could make little garages for them & am including a book about Henry Ford.

June 6th -- Doughnut Day -- believe it or not this is for real! It turns out that donuts were sold on this day in order to raise money for the Salvation Army. In this kit I've included pre-cut pieces of felt to make donuts with ideas for adding sprinkles, and step by step picture instructions. You can find information and a pattern here if you're interested. I also included our honey donut recipe for her to make, with a tip to put the bowl of dough in a warm oven to help speed up the rising time. I shared a game she could play (tying donuts to a string and blindfolding each person with their hands behind their backs while they try to eat it.) I also said if she was really ambitious she could try and sell her donuts (the recipe makes 3-4 dozen!) and donate the money to her local Salvation Army.

June 10th -- Maurice Sendak's Birthday. This is the author of the book Where The Wild Things Are. I've included three paper crafts. One for Max, One for Sipi, and one for Moishe. I've also included a copy of Where The Wild Things Are. I also challenged her to write a story with the three characters she's made and/or write a story that explains what mischief Max got up to that had him sent to his room. I gave questions in order to help spark her imagination if she needed it. Like, "Do you think what he did was terribly awful or just a lot of little things until his Mom finally said, "Go!""

June 14th -- Flag Day. My ideas for this are a tad cheaty as I've gained most of the ideas from June Monthly Craft Idea book, something I all ready had on hand. The "crafts" for this will mostly consist of things from the book: coloring sheet(s), historical information, meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance, & a couple of other small things. I'm also going to include an idea for making patriotic cupcakes, & instructions to make a handprint flag.

June 20th -- Father's Day. I'm including a few ideas for a card and gift(s) she can do on her own. Most of these also come from the above mentioned book. However, I'm also including the instructions for making Lawn Mower Cupcakes.

There were other dates I could have cashed in on, like Helen Keller's Birthday, First Day of Summer, Anne Frank's Birthday and so on. June is lacking on a science experiment, but May had a whole lot of weather experiment stuff for making her very own weather station. I may also include a few fun bookmarks that can be colored and used, some pencil toppers, and a fun shark printable I found.

I often search through a variety of places before deciding which days we'll pick crafts for. I own many of the Monthly Craft Idea books by Scholastic as well as the Daily Discovery Books by Teaching & Learning Company. We also have a couple of year round craft/holiday books, and KinderArt always has ideas listed for various happenings each month.

Once you decide on the days you want to do something on you just have to decide what craft(s) and activities you want to do. I also write up a quick letter to stick in each envelope incase things need explaining and to tell a tiny bit about the holiday. The first craft kit took me quite a while to assemble, but as we move through the year I'm finding each one goes together much more quickly.

To help the planning process I like to keep an extra paper on my clipboard so that I can jot down a date or craft idea I've come up with during the week so that I don't waste time wondering what it was. Once all my planning is done (days to celebrate, craft ideas rounded up) it only takes me an hour or two to collect everything, write out instructions and letters, and get it all boxed up and in the mail.

I try to get them in the mail a week or two (preferably two) weeks before the start of the next month. Sometimes I'm not as timely with this as I should be, and I may send an email through to let them know it's coming but if it's not that by [enter first date I have a craft kit for] to let me know so I can email the info through.

1 comment:

Diane said...

That sounds wonderful. So many fun and educational things to do.