Our Top 5 Tips to Skyrocket Class Engagement

Let's be real, keeping kids engaged in a task for any length of time can be a bit of a challenge (yes, even if the task is fun).

You can fill your arts & crafts studio to the brim with every supply imaginable in all the colours of the rainbow, but the truth is kids' attention spans are short, and it's only a matter of time before you hear those dreaded words: "I'm bored". Eeeek!

Just check out this post from one of our CCC members:

Imagine running a class with 'singing, creating, and getting messy with clay hand prints' and still struggling with fidgeting children losing interest? What's going on here???

Well.. what you've got is a clear-cut case of "It's not you, it's them". Kids are complex little creatures who can be very hard to please...

Have no fear! We’re here to reveal our top-secret recipe for skyrocketing class engagement. All it takes is these 5 simple ingredients:

1. Move around

Get up and MOVE during a class. Kids (especially younger ones) will struggle to sit still and focus for a long period of time.

The best solution to get them back in the groove is to get everyone up on their feet and get their blood circulating. Do some stretches, reach for the stars, touch your toes, or even play a game. Once they've burnt off enough energy they'll be able to sit down again, relax and craft.

Not sure what games to play? If you’re a CCC Academy member we’ve got you covered. With the CCC lesson plans you get fun, age-appropriate games to play as part of every craft. Click to grab a free lesson plan.

2. Choose topical, age-appropriate crafts

Nothing – and I mean NOTHING – will kill creativity quicker than doing a craft that is booooring.

It is so important to pick a craft lesson that is topical, age-appropriate, cool and relevant for the group of kids you’re teaching.

Kids should know that if they come to your club, they get to create super cool crafts.

Think about it like this: would a 5 year old rather knit a scarf (lllaaaame) or create a cool dinosaur that roarrrrs?

When a craft triggers curiosity in a child, that is when inquiry-based learning, problem solving, creativity and ENGAGEMENT happens.

The goal here is to foster excitement. The more excited your kids are about the craft, the more engaged they will be, naturally.

3. Allow for slow, step-by-step exploration of materials

Introducing instructions step by step is probably something you already do in your classroom, but another major tip for maintaining class engagement is to introduce materials one step at a time too.

If you lay out all your materials at the beginning of a lesson, the kids will quickly get used to what’s in front of them.

By introducing materials with each new step, you’re giving the kids something new and exciting to maintain their attention.

New materials require engagement, especially ones with different textures, colours and smells.

When introducing a new material, give the kids time to engage with them. Encourage exploration and ask them, “what does this cotton wool feel like?”, or “what does this paint smell like?” 

Not only will this encourage curiosity, but it will fill in the gaps between steps with extra little engagement activities.

4. Involve the kids in brainstorming and problem-solving

Brainstorm ideas together. If you’re the only one talking and giving instructions, the class will become a monologue. 

STEAM crafting mirrors the processes and thinking that scientists, engineers, architects, and innovators use in the REAL world.

The first step of any engineering process is to identify the problem, ask questions, evaluate and brainstorm ideas together. Do this at the beginning of every class to encourage engagement in the topic and task at hand.

Problem-solve together. Encourage active learning by setting up small obstacles or tasks that the kids need to overcome, and allow them to use their own brains to come up with a plan.

If someone struggles with a task, for example “how do I attach my robot's arm?” get everyone involved in a class discussion to brainstorm ideas and problem-solve together. 

5. Wind down

End the class with a wind down activity.

For the 2- 5 year olds we also like to play the song “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”. We lay on our backs and wind down to the gentle music.

For older age groups, we do some basic stretching: reach for the sky, touch your toes, touch your nose, wiggle wiggle.

Then we take a moment to reflect and discuss what everyone has learned. This is extremely important as it helps to consolidate the time together and gives everyone a chance to calm down before they’re collected by their parents.

The kids enjoy the routine of the wind down activity and become used to the fact that it signals the end of the class.

Let's do a quick recap:

P.S. Did these tips help you skyrocket your class engagement? Comment and let us know!

This episode featured a lesson from the Creative Crafting Club Academy membership. Not a member? Click here to join our waitlist and get your free info pack 

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