One of the best things about writing this blog is that it functions as a bit of a chronicle of my kiddos’ interests, abilities and developmental milestones over the years. If I look back to the early days, I can see that we spent A LOT of time at indoor play places that offered plenty of space for running, jumping and climbing. We also made a home-away-from-home for ourselves at our local libraries that are filled with cozy nooks for storytime, tons of pretend play options like play kitchens and train tables, plus puzzles and games.
But now that my little ones are getting (a little) bigger, a whole new world of activities has opened up to us: the world of arts & crafts. Yup. Now that my kids can sit still and (mostly) follow directions, we’ve been having so much fun exploring all the opportunities for getting creative. Last year we started with the FREE workshops at Lowe’s and Home Depot. And earlier this year we discovered Jumping Clay in Enfield (for a full list of all of our previous “crafty” outings, see this post).
Today, I’m going to tell you about another wonderful drop-in opportunity for craftiness at Michaels stores. And since this is actually a national program, there is sure to be a location near you!
Have you heard of Michaels KIDS CLUB? I had a vague memory of seeing something about it somewhere, or hearing about it from a friend or perhaps even a few readers. But recently, I was inspired to do a little more investigating.
Turns out this Saturday morning drop-in event is the perfect way to introduce your little ones to a variety of craft projects. A different one each week! It only costs $2/child and although you can register ahead of time, you don’t really need to. Plus, if your child is old enough to complete the project on their own, you can actually get a little shopping done while they have fun! (You have to stay in the Michaels store, of course.)
We headed there a couple Saturdays ago to try it out for ourselves. We went to our local Manchester, CT store location, but as I mentioned above, this is a NATIONAL program, so your local Michael’s should participate as well.
The Kids Club runs every Saturday morning, all year round, from 10:00am-12:00pm. You can drop in anytime between those hours to complete your project (projects generally take between 20-30 minutes). The recommended age range is 3 and up, but you are welcome to bring your littler ones as long as you are prepared to be pretty hands-on with them. It also sounds like the difficultly level of the project varies. So if you are hoping to bring your under-three-er, it might not be a bad idea to check the schedule ahead of time and see if you think it’s something your child will be able to handle.
Although you can register ahead of time (and even pay) online via the Michaels website, we decided to see what the procedure is when you just drop into the store.
Turns out it’s pretty easy–you just head to the checkout counter and tell them how many kiddos you’ve got participating in the Kids Club. You pay your 2 bucks per child and off you go!
Although this is pretty convenient, if you have the forethought to register and pay ahead online, that’s even better because then you don’t have to risk waiting in the checkout line if the store is busy. In any case, either after you have paid at the register or if you have already paid online, you just head to the classroom (if you’ve paid online, the instructor will have a list with your name on it).
At the Manchester, CT store, that room is immediately to your left after you enter. It has a window on the side, so you’ll be able to recognize that you are in the right place before you even enter 🙂
Today the project was this adorable potted “cactus”.
The kids got their materials and went right to work with some paint (I was not expecting paint when I dressed the boys that morning, but fortunately Michaels has aprons available to help keep them clean!).
The little guy did need quite a bit of help from daddy, but he was loving it!
Don’t worry too much about getting messy because there is a sink right there in the room where you can clean up.
After we had painted all the components, it was time to start assembling. First we glued on the eyes.
Then next came the cactus “arms”. We used glue dots to put them together. I had never heard of glue dots before, but boy are those terrific for projects with little ones–no mess! I’ve got to stock up.
Next, we “planted” it in the pot.
And added some fuzzy “rocks.”
Looks just like the model, right?!
They were so proud of themselves!
This project took us about 25 minutes, and it was pretty hands-on for mom and dad. Even my five-year-old needed a bit of assistance. But it sounds like sometimes the projects are more straightforward and can easily be completed by the kids. And there is also a wonderful instructor there (hi Jen!) who will walk through all the steps with you and assist as needed. So you are definitely NOT on your own 🙂
We had a great time! I can’t believe this fun program runs EVERY Saturday and only costs a few dollars. It’s no surprise that some kids come back week after week. We are already looking forward to the next one.
And don’t forget to see if your Michaels is running any special Kids Club programming during school breaks too!
Plus, Michaels has tons of classes for adults (and older kids) as well, like bead stringing, card making, cake decorating and so much more. Hey, grownups like to be crafty too!
So be sure to check out their upcoming Kids Club events, and then get creative with your kiddos!
***Saturday 3/19 Kids Club: Tissue Paper Eggs***
***Saturday 3/26 Kids Club: Easter Tic-Tac-Toe***
Michaels Kids Club
Stores nationwide. Click here to find one near you.
Information for the Manchester, CT Michaels store:
Kids Club takes place Saturday mornings from 10:00am-12:00pm. You can drop in anytime between these times to complete the project (but please leave enough time to complete the project by noon). Most projects take between 20-30 minutes.
Kids Club is $2/per participant (one project per participant); parents do not need to pay a fee for themselves unless they also want to make their own project in addition to their child– which you could do! 🙂
Details: (for the Manchester, CT store)
- Stroller Friendly: YES.
- Coffee Mug Friendly: YES.
- Restroom: YES.
- Baby Changing Station: Doh. I forgot to check this. Sorry! Next time I’m in the store I’ll take a peek and update this post.
- Parking: YES.
- Food for Sale: NO.
- Outside Food Allowed: YES.
- Cash Required: NO. You can pay with a credit card at the regular checkout area.
- Dress Code: Dress for a mess! 🙂
- Age Recommendations: The program is recommended for kids ages 3 and up, but if you don’t mind being hands-on with your littler ones, feel free to bring younger kids.
- Evening/Weekend Hours: YES. Kids Club takes place on Saturday mornings.
- Discounts: None that we know of.
- Birthday Party Venue: YES. Get more info here.
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