When you say crafts, do the boys in your class moan, yawn, escape to the bathroom, or find other creative ways to express their displeasure? Maybe they have a point. Craft books tend to be packed with frilly, sweet-smelling projects. Do boys go for that stuff? Not the ones who live at my house! The best crafts for boys are the ones that let them be who God made them to be. Here are art projects boys are guaranteed to love because they embody the things boys love.
1. Energy Let your young men tackle a hunk of clay. Encourage boys to form a horse and chariot for one of Pharaoh’s soldiers, pillars for Samson to pull down, or a coiled basket for Saul’s exciting escape down a city wall.
2. Whack Attack Gather aluminum pie pans, hammers, markers, a few large nails, and newspapers for padding, and you’re ready for whackamania! Demonstrate how to draw a simple design such as a cross on the back of a pie plate, then make a tin-punch design by pounding nail holes about 3/4-inch apart on the outline. Tie a short piece of jute twine through two more nail holes at the top, and the project is ready to hang.
3. Gooey Slime Envision boys’ delight as they coat the bottoms of their feet with slick, slimy fabric paint, then walk across a T-shirt. Add the words “Followin’ Jesus” with squeezable fabric paint, and you’ve got a first-class piece of wearable art.
4. Noisemakers Every boy has a weird voice or two up his sleeve (if not an entire sound effects department). Could this be a puppet opportunity? Sock puppets, paper bag puppets, even paper plate masks give boys a chance to let those vocal chords vibrate. How about Balaam’s talking donkey? Or greedy little Zacchaeus-surely his voice came in something close to a soprano range.
5. Leaving Their Mark Let boys make a wall or a room their very own with on-purpose hand prints, colorful Christian graffiti, and bold graphics that they design themselves. That’s almost as much fun as leaving initials in wet cement.
6. Building Gather wood scraps, nails, and hammers. Turn your boys loose in groups of three or four to create their own versions of Noah’s ark, the city wall of Jericho, or the tower of Babel. Or invite them to Lego-land where they can build a model of your church or set up a Bible-story scene, such as the armies of Israel facing the Philistines camped on the opposite side of the valley.
7. Eating Make mouthwatering, edible crafts such as a jail cell for Paul and Silas out of pretzel sticks and marshmallows. A stable for Jesus’ birth could be made from graham crackers and marshmallow creme. Ring-shaped butter cookies with gumdrop jewels held in place by dots of frosting could be a royal crown. Make baby Moses in his basket with peanut butter/powdered sugar dough. Or how about Adam and Eve from cinnamon toast cut with gingerbread boy cookie cutters? Or the walls of Jericho built from Rice Krispies treat blocks, then demolished and devoured?
8. Movement Slingshots made with leather shoe laces and squares of leather or vinyl can launch soft “stones.” Origami jumping frogs can bring the Egyptian plagues to life and involve a gang of fifth-grade boys in friendly competition for an hour. Let boys create paper airplanes from shiny, holographic wrapping paper to represent plagues of flies and locusts zinging around the room.