Need Suggestions on Planning Arts/craft Time with a Mixed-age Group of Children

Updated on May 10, 2007
D.K. asks from Woodburn, OR
5 answers

Hi! My name is D. and I run a home daycare. I have a terrific group of kids ranging in age from 16 months up to age 4.5 I have a issue planning crafts/coloring/painting with my group. The little ones are too little for some things, the big ones too old for somethings. I want them to enjoy the experience and have a good time and make a craft to take home to Mom and Dad. . . . I'm just a little stuck with WHAT kind of craft to do!

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answers from Spokane on

For the little ones, you can do hand prints with a Christmas poem. For the older ones, have them try making a book of Christmas to their parents.....

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

I also run an in home daycare. I am fairly new at this, but we have been doing alot of arts and crafts. I have a 3yr old and an 18 month old. Play dough, and washable markers are big hits with all kids. With actual crafts I have been cutting out some crafts in advance. For you the 9 year old could be involve more with that. Than we assemble the crafts togeather, the 18 month old needs more assistance and even though the craft is a little above him, he enjoys it and is learning things like the eyes go here, and the legs go here. The 3yr old is pretty much putting the crafts togeather by herself.

This week we have been learning about frogs so we made a frog stick puppet, a hand puppet out of contruction paper, and colored in frog printables. I made them origami jumping frogs also and the 18 month old's mom told me he is still playing with it. Tomorrow we will be finger painting.

I hope this helps.




answers from Portland on

I have been doing daycare in my home now for some time... ages anywhere from 1 year to 13 years. Here are a few of the things I found that helped...
1, pair up a older, more independant child with a younger child... at 4-5, they should be able to help the younger ones, or at least make sure they don't eat the glue!
2, Split them up into groups... older and younger. While the older ones are making an "older" project, get out crayons, etc. for the younger ones. If you have the space, put the younger ones at a table/counter and the older ones at a seperate space and stay between them the best you can so you are there to help and supervise all of them together. I found that if I did one younger activity... maybe let the older ones play outside in the back yard (in my sight) while I helped the younger ones... before lunch... ate lunch, then put the younger ones down for a nap... that allowed me time to them do something with the older ones.



answers from Los Angeles on

Hi D.,

I have been doing my in home daycare for 3 years. I have a wide variety of ages just like you. I found a company that offers crafts for reasonable prices. It is called ABC Distributing. Just go online and it will have an online catalog. At the top just do a crafts search. These are some of the crafts I have ordered and used.

Make your own stepping stones - The kit gives you all the stuff to mix and make a stepping stone. Kids can put their handprints or footprints. They can write their name in it and the kit includes items to decorate it.

Scrapbooking - This summer I will have the kids creating their own scrapbooking albums. ABC has affordable albums and scrapbooking accessories. The parents will provide the photos. You could even have the younger ones participate with this.

Embroidery Pillow - This allows kids to follow lines to make flowers or butterflies on a pillow. Obviously for little girls.

Treasure find - this allows the kids to hammer away at a rock type mound and as they hammer away small rocks and gems are inside. When they are done they can clean off all the rocks/gems and look them up and find the names of all their findings.

These are only a few things I have ordered and used. If you go online you can view many different catalogs from each season. They put out a catalog for each season. Also if you like using the computer, every Monday they add new items.

Everything is very inexpensive. In addition to crafts, they offer many other things like blow up pools, jewelry, clothes, storage, furniture, garden decorations.....Gosh I can go on. I have been buying from this company for at least 6 years and have only had 2 problems which were handled professional

It is very easy to use. You will have to set up an account and the good thing is you do not have to pay anything up front. When the item is shipped you will be given an invoice and will have 10 days to pay. You can even make payments online.

Hope you find it useful.



answers from Los Angeles on

I like to ask the older kids to help the littler ones. It makes the big kids feel so important... pair them up and have them play teacher! I think stickers are great for the younger kids (as long as they don't eat them!) since they aren't quiet ready for crayons or glue! You could have the younger kids put stickers on paper and then have the bigger kids color in the scene around them. I'll think of some more ideas and get back to you again! Take care!

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