Interesting/cheap art projects

Hey, I'm an art/crafts director for a summer camp and I'm trying to think of fun projects for 2nd-12th grade students. Inner city boys makes it really hard to come up with "cool" things. Any ideas? I am put on a very limited budget but have tons of odds and ends. I have done this for 2 years and I get frustrated b/c I want the kids to have fun and make interesting useable projects and a lot of times they don't.

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You follow this blog which is suitable for your craft ideas. There projects are so simple to implement........... art-and-craft4children.blogspot.com

gmoon10 years ago
That is a BIG age group :). How about some simple print making--glue cardboard shapes on board, have a couple brayers, one inked, and one for pulling a print? I always enjoyed seeing students spray-paint their tennis shoes--why not have the younger kids paint cheap flip-flops? It's a little more expensive, but you can find out-of-date B&W photo paper cheap sometimes. We used to demo photo emulsions to HS students by having them 'paint' exposed paper with developer. They can watch the developer work, and fix the images after (no darkroom needed for this one.) If you have a darkroom, they can also 'paint' unexposed paper with flashlights...use their hands, cardboard shapes for masking out areas, too...
hethlee (author)  gmoon10 years ago
ooh those are great ideas. I like those a lot. I am on a limited budget but i bet i could round some of that up. thanks for the suggestions!
Speaking of photos, you could paint with light. All you need is a digital camera with a long exposure option, some flashlights or LEDs, and a dark room.
hethlee (author)  fungus amungus10 years ago
yeah that is definitly a posibility- I love those pictures
canida10 years ago
Check out the Howtoons and Beta Howtoons groups for good project suggestions.
jtobako10 years ago
That's a huge range to be dealing with at once, are they broken up into groups? How many at a time? For how long? What kind of supervision/ratio of 'adults' to kids? Is there a theme or reason that they are there? I help do the same for a Girl Scout camp, 1-6th grade campers and 7-12th grade cadets that do most of the teaching. Luckily, I have some woodworking skills and time to set up some stuff (wood animals and wooden doll kits, and an attempt at clay that didn't work out-they had fun with the clay but the firing failed completely). There are about 100 girls, broken up into about 6-8 groups by age, an hour or two for a big craft but they are there for a week so something like glue or paint drying isn't a problem (clay drying is-especially when it rains...). A lot of kids, especially by 6th grade, just don't like crafts. I'd like to help, but I have a feeling that most of the things I'd come up with would be a bit difficult. Simple notebooks from loose paper, cardboard furniture (difficult to get the right amount of glue), tie-dye with paint, the different play dough recipes are good with the younger kids (I prefer the cornstarch versions-more choices in filler).
hethlee (author)  jtobako10 years ago
I work with 3rd grade on up to high school. I do it for 2 months and every week is a different age group. I have a huge craft room with all sorts of random stuff from pine cones to egg cartons to felt and different materials. I do about 2 weeks of arts/craft class but the other weeks of camp it is just an elective so it can get discouraging because I can prepare for a huge craft/art project and then no one will show up (swimming is also an option). I'm used to it though I just wanted some fresh ideas. I really like the journal idea! I've done tye dye but i have a small budget so we just got bandanas which the guys liked. I did clay for one of my classes but it was really expensive so i think i will make some this summer. Thanks for wanting to help:) Any more ideas?
The marshmallow gun is a classic 'round these parts.

Could also try a paper airplane contest.
hethlee (author)  fungus amungus10 years ago
ooh good ideas