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A friend works at a daycare center and has kids ages 10 to 13 for two hours after their regular school. This place offers only babysitting, not crafts. Do you have any suggestions as to things they could do that might keep the kids happy? The director might spring money for the occasional organized activity for the kids.
The center is not even in Texas, so it's not near my city.
Holly from Richardson, TX
Doing sports outside like a game of dodge ball or touch football or 4 square always eats up some time.
Learning hand jives
Putting on improvised plays using stuff that's laying around as props
Get some hemp twine and beads with large holes in them and show the kids how to make knotted hemp braceltes. (it's fairly inexpensive- you can get a hank of twine for like $1 and thats enough for about 3 braceltes or so, ad beads can be as inexpensive as some pony beads)
Have each child bring in an old magazine or two and make collages with a theme, and vote on the one that best fits the theme. (examples could be poetry, beauty, healthy, funny)
Start up a beat and have each kid add a repeating beat of thier own till everyone is doing something different but it all goes together. (this can be lots of fun)
start a marbles tournament, and teach the kids to play (I know it sounds silly, but theres a lot of skill involved in actually playing)
Boardgames are FANTASTIC ways to pass time. Tell them to look at yardsales or at good will for good games at bargain prices (just make sure all the peices are there)
Alternately you could buy incomplete games and use the peices to make your own games, make up your on rules and eveything, a good chance to be creative
Make a comic book with a twist. Have each person draw a comic book page, but with the speech bubbles empty, then have the kids switch thier papers and have them fill in captions for the comic. (you might do this with a theme, and try to tie them all together somehow)
Lots more ideas, I'll add more later.
How about library books, story hour, drawing with crayons or markers on recycled paper gotten from business or print shop "goofs". Homework time, videos or DVD's rented or loaned free from libraries, simple snacks like pnut buitter sandwiches or crackers and p-nut butter. Could kids bring in a small amount of money, even a dollar a month or 50 cents a week to fund craft supplies?
Possibly setting up a quiet homework station might help.
Have your friend post on Freecycle.org in her local area and ask for the needed items and post that it's for a non-profit group.