5 easy playdate crafts

Got a group of kids to host? Try these 5 fun and crafty activities to keep them entertained

Written by Gabrielle Meredith-Ellsworth

You offered to host a playdate for Billy, Molly, Holly, Kian, Katie and a few other kids from preschool whose names you can’t remember…. Possibly you were drinking wine with their mums and it seemed like a great idea. I’ll have yours and then you can have mine. Free childcare! Cheers! Hic!

Now, the morning of the playdate has arrived and your plan to stick them in the garden (and lock the door, joking not joking) has been rained on. Literally. It’s coming down in buckets. The parents arrive to drop off their kids and you find yourself clinging to their legs. Don’t… leave.. me… alone… with… them!

But don’t worry! You can solve playdate dramas with these simple crafts for a crowd. They’re perfect for kids aged 3-plus and they’re designed to get everyone sitting around one table. Throw some newspaper on the floor and caution to the wind. In a few hours, you can hand every child back and then look forward to dropping off your own next time.

1) Crowning around: make some fancy hats!

You’ll need: paper plates, paint, sequins, tissue paper, jewels glue

1. First, prep a plate per child. Fold the paper plate into quarters and cut up from the point to the rim (stopping when you reach it). Open out the plate and snip along the folds so you have eight triangles that you can fold up later.
2. Now, give the plates to the kids so they can paint them. While they dry, let the kids run off steam with these great indoor active games.
3. When the plates are dry, they can fold up the triangles and stick on sequins, jewels, balls of tissue paper… whatever they like.

2) Marvellous meals: make some colourful placemats

What you’ll need: A4 sheets of paper, stencils, pens

What to do:

Give each child a sheet of paper. Then they stencil colourful designs, and write their name. Time for a snack!

3) Salt dough saves the day! Make handy art

What you’ll need: salt, flour, water, paint, glitter (if you like)

What to do:

1. Get your group to mix up a batch of salt dough.
2. Break off a piece for each child to roll into a circle and press their hand into. They should each have their own handprint to dry and decorate.
3. Microwave each handprint, to dry the dough, for 1 minute, checking every 10 seconds. It’s probably best to get the group to have a snack while you do this bit.
4. Now, they can paint the handprints – add glitter if you like (only if you can stand the mess!).

4) Crafty mask hide-and-seek: who’s who?

What you’ll need: masks, pens

What to do:

1. Draw simple mask outlines for the kids to colour in and cut out, or buy masks for them to colour in.
2. Now turn it into a game! Once they’ve coloured their masks, you hide them all in different places. When they find a mask, they put it on. Can the others guess who is behind the mask?

 5) Crazy alien: play a dice game

What you’ll need: big sheet of paper, pens, a dice

What to do:

1. First draw a big alien body on a sheet of paper.
2. Now go around the group. The first child says what they’ll draw – eyes, antennae, spots etc. Then they roll the dice to find out how many of that thing they will draw.
3. Go around the group adding to the alien until he’s looking really crazy!

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