Ask an Agent: Good Craft Projects for Large Groups

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Question:  Do you have any craft ideas that are really good for large groups? And that take a while to do – by a while I mean about an hour.

 Kelsey (Burnham Memorial Library) says:

Okay, well the largest group I’ve ever had was 17 for tie-dye, so this may not scale as well as I think it does. However, I’ve noticed that they take longer when I break whatever craft we’re doing into stations–they have to wait (and have the opportunity to chat) for limited tools that they need for each step. For example, with mason jar luminaries, I had a jar decoration table, an electronics table with only 2 sets of wire strippers, and a hot glue table which slowed them right down and a thirty minute craft became nearly 2 hours (plus, they spent wayyyy longer than I expected to making really intricate jar decorations)! We’re currently embarking on silhouette art which requires partnering up with their flashlight to trace their chosen outline, then cutting up a ton of magazine pages to get the most interesting slices (which is something I could have prepped for them, but didn’t) and using elmer’s glue because it dries slower. I’d maybe think about adapting some current craft ideas to make them go slower. What can you skimp on prep-wise to make them prepare their own materials? Can you split the process into more steps and spread them out over more stations? In the end, it depends on the teens–bouncy balls ended up taking forever because they were so insistent on getting the food coloring to glitter ratios perfect.

Andrea (TSU) says:

I think the time it’ll take will depend on your teen skills. Most of the crafts I’ve run in the past have taken close to hour in most cases. However, my max group in the library has been about 15ish. I have more when I go to school outreaches, but I purposely make those easier so the teens can do them in time.

However, some of the projects that have taken a bit a time are: Book Hedgehogs, Galaxy Jars, Make Your Own Journal, Dry Erase Boards, & Canvas Art.


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