Finding fun activities to occupy the guests at your grandchild’s birthday party can be a challenge, especially if you’re trying to keep them away from the TV, computer, and video games for the day. Try pinning them down with these great art and craft activities, and create a memory and a souvenir both of you will treasure for years to come.
Create a mural:
Whether you’re painting a wall or a large sheet of paper, a mural is a great activity for kids and adults. It offers everyone the opportunity to be creative either together or on their own, and when it has had a chance to dry you’ll be left with a beautiful reminder of this special day. Make sure that each of the artists signs their work!
Take pictures and make frames:
Handmade picture frames are a classic craft activity for kids, but having a picture from that day to keep in mind when decorating will add a layer of fun and creativity to the project. There was a time that this would have required a Polaroid, but with a digital camera it should be easy to let each child take a picture with the birthday boy or girl, or in a group. Print each of their pictures and let them each make their own frames out of cardboard, matt board, or craft sticks and decorate it just as they think it should be.
Make durable, colorful bubbles:
Bubbles can be lots of fun, especially for younger kids. Giant, durable bubbles make the fun bigger too. Mix a big bowl with 6 parts water and 2 parts dish soap. Divide the liquid into smaller containers and let the kids add food dye to change the colors of the bubbles. Then add 1 part light corn syrup to make bubbles that can be blown to much bigger sizes than normal, and are much harder to pop. Try not to create any bubbles in the solution once the corn syrup is added.
Decorate school supplies:
Three ring binders, pencil cases, and pocket folders are excellent for ‘blank canvas.’ They can be decorated with markers, paints, glitter, or magazine cutouts. Personalizing their school supplies will offer each child the opportunity to express themselves, and you may even be able to help a few of them get organized in a fun and relaxed environment.
Make a treat and a recipe book:
Older children can be a little trickier to entertain. When finger paints and Popsicle sticks won’t really cut it anymore, try appealing to their appetites. Most grandmothers have at least one recipe that the whole family talks about, tries to replicate, and longs for when they’re away. In my family it was Granma’s super-thin, crispy sugar cookies. For my husband it was the homemade sourdough bread they had every morning.
Whatever your specialty is, spend the afternoon teaching your grandchild and their friends the tricks you use (no recipe should remain secret forever, after all), then help them put together recipe books. Find solid versions of their favorite meals, make sure everyone knows how to read and follow a recipe, and remember to leave lots of blank pages. An elderly neighbor made me one of these when I was in junior high school and I still use and treasure it.
About The Author:
Jenny Franklin is a mom, a party planner, and a freelance writer. She currently writes for PartyPail, who provide excellent supplies for girls’ birthday parties.
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