There are a million and one considerations and 'To Do's' before running a craft workshop for children. I might even write a book on it all one day.... But, chances are, if you are considering this in the first place - you have a keen idea of what is involved anyway.
Here are some random tips that i use in my Craft Workshops:
1. Have everything set up the night before if possible. That way you can make a list of all the things you have forgotten to bring down with you.
2. It is a proven fact, time after time - children LOVE to craft with junk. If i bought nothing to the workshop but the contents of recycling tubs, sticky stuff and paints.... the children would be occupied for up to 2 hours. Pictured here is an army of 'Actimel' bottles with fluffy heads i stuck on the night before. Yes i started collecting them weeeeeks before. And Yes, my house is always full of clutter.
3. If you have a specific project in mind - adults and children really like to see an example of what you had in mind. Even if they go off on their own tangent and even when a 4 year old makes something amazing and makes yours look very inferior...they still like a visual aid to begin with.
4. It is a good idea to have a range of sticky stuffs. We do use good strong glue (not cheapo PVA) but also lots of sticky-backed tape which is much quicker and avoids that whole "bits falling off whilst children walk home" kind of scenario. You can take a hairdryer along - adults only and all that - to help quicken the drying of paints and gluey projects.
5. 2 hours is ample time for a workshop. I personally wouldn't go any longer unless the children are older - like young Teens, you know.
6. If you have a big enough hall - it is a good idea to separate the craft projects out so each table has exactly what it needs. If you are a group of adults / parents running this together then you could take responsibility for one table / activity each. Then you can be sure the children have what they need to hand.
7. There is no need to spend a great deal of money on crafty bits. Children are happy with scraps and bits and collected treasures. Wrappers from Easter Eggs and old Christmas cards. Truly, children have way more imagination than adults. Give them good quality glues and paints and scissors and they are well on their way.
8. Try not to be an adult that moans about the sticky mess their child wants to bring home (that includes myself and the giant dog bed my daughter made). Tell children it is fantastic. Let them tell you all the details of their amazing person / truck / atomic flower gun they just made, because they have usually put a great deal of thought into it. Keep for a few days at least before shuffling it outside on bin day.
Children get a massive amount of self-esteem, satisfaction, contentment, excitement out of crazy craft projects.
I feel totally privaliged when they choose to come along and craft with me. I thank them all for making my day so great and inspiring me xxx