Sunday, November 3, 2013

Program: Spa Day

Spa Day was my last big program of the summer and it was a huge hit. I had been thinking about doing this program for a while now and finally decided to just go ahead and put it on the calendar. It was definitely a successful program, filling the room and running out of supplies, and I'll do it again some time in the future. Here's what we did!

Kool-Aid Lip Gloss: this was maybe the simplest of all the products we made, though they were all very simple. The first step here was to find a partner who wanted the same flavor as you. The reason for this was because it was easier to break down the petroleum jelly and Kool-Aid into sizes that would end up making two containers worth of gloss. We didn't run into any problems with kids not finding someone who wanted the same flavor and we ended up with some leftover. After that, it's incredibly simple. My teens and I had already measured out quantities of petroleum jelly into small cups. The partners then simply added their chosen flavor of Kool-Aid and stirred with all their might. The recipes I'd seen called for heating the petroleum jelly to make it more liquid and, thus, easier to stir, but some experimenting before the program showed that this wasn't really necessary. I bought small paint pots at the craft store for kids to take their creation home in. They loved this. The link doesn't seem to be working for the blog I found this one on.

Honey Foaming Bath Soap: this was one of the messier crafts of the program, though the kids didn't get as messy as my teen volunteers and I. Once again, we used small squeeze bottles bought from the craft store for kids to carry their soap home; in addition, the soap was made directly in the bottles, as it comes together with just a little vigorous shaking. I don't have exact measurements because it really depends on how large a container you're using, but we had the kids fill their bottles a quarter full of honey. On top of this, they added liquid hand soap until their bottles were half full. Then, they filled their bottles the rest of the way with light olive oil. They screwed on their caps (tightly) and with a shake, the mixture came together. We made sure to let them know to give it a good shake before using it. Here's the recipe I used.

Stained Glass Votive Holders: I had the least amount of supplies for this because candle holders are not cheap and I really didn't know how many kids I'd have. This was a really simple craft. I had two small plastic buckets with Mod Podge in them and foam brushes. The kids painted their clear glass votive holders with a layer of Mod Podge, affixed their chosen colors and quantities of small tissue paper flowers (precut with a scrapbook punch before the program), and then added a final layer of Mod Podge. As with all things that require glue or paint, they didn't seem to understand the "a little bit goes a long way" concept, so a lot of their votives were not dry by the end of the program. They seemed pleased with the results regardless.

Brown Sugar Body Scrub: okay, maybe this was the messiest of all the crafts because the brown sugar got everywhere! Once again, we used the simplest recipe possible. Equal parts white sugar and brown sugar in a small glass jar. Add enough olive oil to cover the sugar and stir it all together with a craft stick. Part of the reason the brown sugar got everywhere is that the kids believed their could shake their jars instead of stirring and many of them did not fully close the lids before attempting this. Here's the recipe.

That was it! All of the recipes for what we made were things I found on Pinterest. Most important for me for this program was finding extremely simple recipes that didn't require a lot of steps and also nothing that required any heat (we don't have access to a heating element in our program room, besides an old microwave on its last legs). That means fun things like bath fizzies and homemade soap were out, but we'll see if I can incorporate them into a similar program at some point in the future. As I mentioned, we ended up running out of supplies - I think I had bought enough containers for 45-50 kids at each craft (except the votive holders) and all of them ran out. Still, every kid had a chance to go home with something and they all had a great time.

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