Crafty Kids teaches toy making to children in 3rd through 9th grade. Toy making is an intricate process that employs design, critical thinking, and project planning skills. Children in the program gain self confidence by seeing the culmination of their work in their finished toy.
The program was launched in January 2007 at the East Harlem Tutorial in New York City. A partnership began with the Children’s Village in Meru, Kenya in the fall of 2010. In 2012, the program began at Juan Morel Campos Secondary School in Brooklyn. In 2013 the program was started at The Children's Storefront in Harlem, NYC. Both of these groups made puppets, wrote puppet shows and performed them for their peers.
Crafty Kids helps children express themselves through toy making, no matter their background or gender. Boys do not often get the same opportunities to sew and do craft projects. However, boys are just as interested in creating in 3D as girls. The toy making process is about children expressing themselves through creating 3D art. They learn how to convert an idea on paper to the actual 3D object. The toy making process encourages children to think openly and creatively solve problems.
My students and I thoroughly enjoyed working with Kara and Crafty Kids. My students exercised their minds as they sketched, made patterns and learned to sew, eventually creating dolls and puppets. Kara was extremely patient with even my most challenging students, allowing them to fully participate in this unique learning experience.
Maria Mikanda, 7th Grade Teacher, Juan Morel Campos Secondary School
Crafty Kids is an excellent hands on learning experience for students with disabilities.
Kerry Soper, 8th Grade Special Education Teacher, Juan Morel Campos Secondary School