Most (not all) children’s rooms have a back closet stuffed with supplies. There’s a little of this and that left over from all kinds of programs before. Some glitter, paper in weird colors, tissue paper, two dozen 5 mm dowel rods, enough glitter glue to decorate a building, that kind of stuff just piles up if you don’t drag it out occasionally

I’ve been trying, this year, to figure out some programs that allow me to use up leftovers without having to purchase a lot of additional things. I haven’t made it anywhere near through our backlog yet (especially of tissue paper, we may NEVER run out) but I’m working on it.

This summer, our theme was “Be Creative.” This translated to a focus on art, music and dance for the summer, with some theater and gardening thrown in for good measure. I opted to focus on “colors” because it was vague enough to let me pull out a bunch of cheerful crafts without getting too bogged down.

Supplies Needed:

Tissue Paper
Pipe Cleaners
“Stuff to decorate” (can be just about anything but make sure it’s light)
Butcher paper
Glue/Glue Sticks (I prefer glue)
Styrofoam Cups
Masking Tape
Paint Brushes (little ones, preferably old ones that you can then throw away)

Craft One: Tissue paper butterflies

Precut the butterflies out, if possible, and provide decorations (markers, stickers, etc) and pipe cleaners.
Ask the kids to choose a pipe cleaner middle and decorate the wings. These look lovely hung up in windows.

Craft Two: Tissue paper flowers

Precut rectangles of tissue paper (about 4×8 inches) and have them stacked up. Pick up four or five layers, bind the center with a pipe cleaner. Cut the petals in decorative shapes, fluff them apart. Add decorations as desired. (These also wrap nicely into headpieces as the base is then all pipe cleaners.)

Craft Three: Mural
Have a general idea sketched out on some butcher paper and ask the kids to help you fill it in with all the decorations you would like: markers, tissue paper, feathers, anything that won’t fall off when you hang it up. And by general idea I mean abstract shapes–not a farm scene. For whatever reason though, kids liked making “clothes” out of the tissue paper.

Craft Four: Instruments

Ahead of time, put beans, beads, any small thing you have in the back that you can stand the site of any more 9and will rattle) into styrofoam cups. Tape two cups open ends together (now it’s a shaker!) Use tissue paper (told you we had a lot) cut in small squares and lots of glue and layer the tissue paper all over the cups. Should get a stained glass effect.

Tomorrow I’m doing another “what’s in the back room” program with fairies as the theme.

Colored paper
Dowel Rods (leftovers from another program, straws or popsicle sticks work too)
All the glitter glue in Wisconsin
Leftover tissue paper squares and flowers (I don’t know where the precut flowers came from
Flat “angel” cut outs (from my mom’s cleaning out) (wings plus a skirt cut out = fairy to me!)
Magnet pieces

Craft one: Wands
If I could guarantee 10 year olds, I’d make them cut out their own wand shapes. Since I can’t, I used the die cutter and colored paper and tada–52 stars (none of them yellow). Glue two stars together with dowel rod in the middle and you have a wand. The fairies tomorrow can decorate, add ribbon, write their fairy name on it…all sorts of things.

Craft two: Headdresses
See Tissue paper flowers above, adding in ribbon and a base circlet of pipe cleaners. I’m actually not doing this one tomorrow, I decided two crafts was enough

Craft Three: Make your own fairy magnet
We had the magnets and ornaments, so the girls will get to design their own flower fairy friend. Once they are done decorating, we’ll write their fairy name on the back (I’m using this Fairy Name Generator) and add a magnet so it can go on the fridge.

Wish me luck and not bringing any of this stuff back with me!