How to Host a Virtual Craft Night for Your Class
By James Cross, 4th Grade Teacher, Rocketship Nashville Northeast Elementary
I’m just going to be vulnerable and name that I am the teacher who usually forgets to plan the seasonal lesson and craft. As a former kindergarten teacher, I know how special these days are to students, especially young learners, but man it can be hard to remember to prep everything. I knew that this year was going to be a challenge given we are still 100% virtual learning at my school, but I was determined to not let this be forgotten.
A virtual craft night meant that families would get to feel a sense of normalcy amidst this non-traditional year- and that’s important. To make this night a reality, I planned the craft, organized the supplies, communicated with families, and prepared for the night. My process went a little like this:
Step 1: Pick the Craft
I knew I needed to select a craft that would be inclusive of all families and cultures. I also wanted a sense of the winter season mixed with a bit of mystery. I decided on two different crafts. Each student would get a craft bag that either contained the supplies for a snowman or a penguin craft. I was prepared to find instructions for a craft online, but I lucked out because Michaels was having a sale on craft kits. We were able to curbside pick up all the supplies we needed at an affordable price. I also decided to purchase a bonus ornament craft for each bag. This meant that each bag would have two craft kits in them.
Step 2: Organize the Supplies
This was probably the easiest and hardest part of the process. I had all of the supplies, but I needed them to be ready for a quick and efficient pickup. With social distancing in mind, I sorted all the supplies into individual craft bags for each student. I put all the supplies in and included a bonus craft in each. I finished them off with a staple so it would be a surprise as to which craft they received. My school serves about 500 students. I knew not all students would participate so I started with about 150 bags.
Step 3: Communicate with Families
I knew that I needed to get the message out to families so they would have ample time to stop by the school to grab their bags. I posted a flyer in our school Facebook group and pumped it up there as best I could. I also asked teachers to pass along the information to their classes. I also went live on Facebook while distributing bags to boost interest. With the help of my school’s operations team, we passed out bags to every family that came to the school to pick one up. On the day of the event, we passed out every last craft bag!
Step 4: Enjoy the Night Of
I was truly looking forward to this night. It was going to be an opportunity to have a joyful evening with families across the entire school. Families logged into the Zoom call and we led them through each craft. Students were able to show off their final products and encourage each other. After the event families posted pictures of their craft on our Facebook group.
Seeing students getting messy with glue and felt brought a lot of joy to my heart. This event wasn’t anything extraordinary, but it felt right. Family relationships are so important and my next plan is to host another family night this month. I’m thinking something trivia. Kahoot might just make this new year hoot!
Published on January 19, 2021
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