Celebrate National KidХs Craft Day March 14

Your parks and recreation department celebrates the Fourth of July and Valentine's Day, so why not celebrate National Kid's Craft Day?

This is a great chance for kids and adults to enjoy gluing, painting, coloring, building, decoupaging and sculpting. Plan a citywide event that encourages creativity and some great finished projects. Here are a few simple craft ideas to incorporate as part of National Kid's Craft Day.

1. Who says crafts have to be pink and cute? Provide an assortment of newspaper, bottles, boxes, duct tape, dirty socks, paint, etc. Encourage people to "Make Something Ugly For A Change." Offer fun prizes to people who make unique sculptures or odd three-dimensional paintings. The goal is to make an arts and crafts project that causes Martha Stewart to turn pale!

2. Make a thinking cap. Cut a piece of construction paper into a three-foot strip that fits around your head as a base for the thinking cap. Staple or tape ends shut. Use a variety of paper scraps to decorate this base. Curl paper strips around a pencil and attach. Cut out paper flowers or designs and glue onto the base.

3. Collect a box of biodegradable packing peanuts. Simply ask local stores to save them for you.These peanuts are made out of cornstarch so they are gentle on the environment. They make unique sculptures also. Just lick one end of a peanut and stick it to another piece. It bonds instantly! You can also dab the peanut on a damp sponge.

4. Want to serve a snack in a crafty way? Get clear plastic gloves (the kind deli workers wear) and drop a red gumdrop in each finger. Fill with popped popcorn and tie glove shut. You now have a “handful” of popcorn.

5. Everyone has painted a rock. Get fancy by finding five to six smooth stones. Arrange them in a shape to be a person or animal. Use small rocks for arms or a tail. Glue stones to a piece of wood and decorate with markers or paint. This is a heavy craft project!

6. Use toothpicks and miniature marshmallows to make a sculpture. Simply poke toothpicks into the marshmallows and connect them in various places. You’ll be surprised how large your sculpture can get.

7. Play Clay provides hours of fun. Add great color and smell by mixing powdered Kool Aid ™ into the dough. Mix 1 cup sifted flour, ½ cup salt, 3 tablespoons oil and one small package Kool Aid ™. Have an adult add one cup boiling water. Stir and knead until mixture is a smooth, clay- like substance. Store in a covered container.

8. One community sponsored a "Decorate a Toilet" contest. A recycling center donated used toilets for people to decorate. The crafty results showed toilets covered with neon polka-dots, jungle themes and a portrait of Rachel Ray!

For more crafty ideas, check out the S&S Worldwide website at www.ssww.com They are the official sponsors of National Kid's Craft Day on March 14.

Silvana Clark has over 20 years experience helping thousands of children create arts and crafts projects. She presents keynotes and workshops on a variety of recreation-related subjects. She can be reached at (615) 662-7432 or via e-mail at silvanac@msn.com.