The materials for Rock Tic-Tac-Toe were pretty cheap because I had some the extra cedar fence scraps and the rocks were left over from another activity. In addition, we had acrylic paint and Mod Podge (to provide a protective coating) ready to be used.
The prep work for this program took a while, but it was worth it. I cut my wood into squares (a hardware store can do this for you if it isn’t something you feel comfortable doing). I also used a palm sander to take down the corners and rough spots. Depending upon the look you are going for and the type of wood you use, you may not need to sand very much at all. I coated the wood with Kilz, which prevents the acrylic paint from sinking into the wood. I measured the spaces for the grid, and sketched it out lightly with pencil. I sorted the rocks by size and texture, and then we washed them because they were dirty.
I made my example like one I saw online because it was so cute. Aphids are the real enemies of ladybugs, but bees are so much more fun to paint!
The teens had a great time!
This was our first Lego tournament, and it was super fun! Teams competed as they constructed five different creations: an animal you would see at the zoo, world’s coolest skyscraper, a science fiction creature, a re-imagined Batmobile, a maze that a Lego person could walk through. The creations were rated on a series of criteria: teamwork, originality, use of supplies, and presentation. Then the winners were awarded with candy or chips. It was very inexpensive because we borrowed the Children’s Department Lego collection, and we had a stash of candy and chips left over from previous activities. It was fun for everyone and fostered creativity and teamwork :)
Making crayon rocks is pretty easy, and they look so cool. First, you need to heat up the rocks using an oven or crock-pot. If you use an oven, it is recommended by this site that you cook the rocks at about 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes. If you use a crock-pot (like we did), you can put the rocks in water and let them heat up for a couple of hours. Make sure that you use potholders when handling the hot rocks. Once you have your rocks nice and hot, you can draw on them with crayons and watch the awesome designs spread. You may want to cover the work surfaces with newspaper because wax doesn’t come off easily. In addition, you may want to call it “Awesome Rocks,” if you are doing a teen program. I am starting to think the word “crayon” is unappealing to teens. It may remind them of crafts for small children at a time when they are really wanting to be more mature.
If you haven’t noticed, many of our crafts involve rocks. This is because I was being a little funny, and I thought we could relate to the “passport to the world” theme by “rocking around the world” in crafts. Owl rocks are really fun to make. It helps to have some sharpies so you can draw the details on your owls. Also, you may want to have a couple hairdryers out to help the paint dry. While the teens were waiting for their owls to dry, I had a few leftover crafts they could make (rock cactus and cork boards).
Welsh cakes are very yummy. If you make the dough, you can let the teens decide what they want to put in it. Making the dough is a little involved because it needs to sit in the fridge for at least half an hour, but no more than two hours. This recipe also calls for buttermilk, but you can make your own by mixing 1 part lemon juice to 2 parts milk. Each participant shaped their cakes on floured wax paper because the dough needs to handled on a non-sticky surface. Ingredients we laid out included: Craisins, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, cheese, and powdered sugar for the top. The cakes can be cooked on electric griddles, or on the stove. If you do not have either of these, the teens can take their dough home for cooking. If you want to add a Kahoot! quiz about England, your program can have an element of learning fun like ours!
It is fairly easy to create a custom pouch for your ipad using duct-tape and bubble wrap. You can also use a mailing envelope, as demonstrated in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMINXCUrAT0
Rock Cacti was great fun! Here are some of the materials we used: smooth rocks, very small clay pots, acrylic painting materials, colored shell pieces, colored glass pieces, sponge pieces, and hot glue. It is a good idea to paint the rocks first because they can dry while you are painting the pot. When the rocks are dry, you can add the spines by painting three strokes with a skinny brush. The hot glue will hold the rocks in place, and you can add shell or glass pieces as “dirt” around the cacti. Make sure the rocks are dry before using hot glue because it will not adhere to wet items. I gave everyone sponge pieces for creating texture with the paint, but most people used brushes. In case you were wondering, the plural of cactus is “cactuses,” “cacti,” and occasionally “cactus” is used as well. I chose “cacti” because it seemed more horticultural. Here is a link that explains it: http://grammarist.com/usage/cacti-cactuses/