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Creative Group Activity for Kids: Making Monsters

Getting creative with Model Magic: Making Monsters

When I was planning Emma’s birthday party, I knew that I needed a creative group activity. My activity needed to be:

  • Accessible to all of the kids attending from two-year-old Anna to Emma’s “sophisticated” nine-year-old friends
  • Gender neutral – not something that would be perceived as either a “girl” or “boy” activity
  • Easy to set up
  • Something that all of the kids could do on their own – even Anna
  • Easy to clean up
  • FUN!

Emma and I went over several different ideas before settling on this model magic monster activity that was a big hit!

Creative Group Activity for Kids: Making Monsters

fun creative group activity for kids: making monsters

Set up for this activity was easy. I had bought this large box of model magic at the end of last year; you can buy model magic packed in larger quantities, but I find this box of many small pouches to be the best value since model magic does not keep once the pouch is open. Having it individually packaged like this means it is easy to keep some on hand without having it dry out.

I laid out several pouches of model magic along with pipe cleaners (from this box of assorted pipe cleaners), an assortment of sizes of googly eyes, and a pair of good children’s scissors to cut open the packs of model magic and to cut the pipe cleaners, where needed.

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creating group activities for kids - making monsters out of model magic. Great birthday party idea!

The kids really had a great time with this! We had pipe cleaner arms, and pipe cleaner horns. we had model magic people, model magic monsters, model magic monsters, and model magic round guys with white beards and mustaches. It was really neat to see that every single kid took this in a different direction – that is one of the great benefits of using finding an open-ended creative activity with easy-to-use materials!

engaging activities for kids: model magic and googly eyes

Mike had a not-planned-when-we-scheduled-the-party work conflict, and I was a little concerned with how Anna would do with me paying attention to eight friends in addition to my own four kids. It could have gotten pretty challenging, especially since she had refused to fall asleep at nap time. A little bit of model magic (red – her favorite color) and eight googly eyes kept her happily busy for over an hour! She watched the other kids play, and arranged and re-arranged the eyes on her little guy.

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The kids took their creations home as souvenirs. My kids’ monsters are all lined up on our bookshelves downstairs, and they have seen quite a bit of pretend play action since the party!

MaryAnne lives in Silicon Valley with her Stanford professor husband Mike and their four children. She writes about parenting through education, creativity, and play. Mama Smiles - Joyful Parenting is a space to share crafts, hands on learning activities, and family outings that enrich lives and bring families together.

11 thoughts on “Creative Group Activity for Kids: Making Monsters”

  1. Brilliant!! I’m so glad it worked well for all the kids at the party!

    I’ve never seen model magic – how is it different than play-doh?

    1. You can’t make it at home. It is very lightweight and stickier than play dough when you open the package, but then dries to an almost velveteen finish. It’s pretty magical stuff – I was introduced to it when my sister brought home a project made out of it when she was in sixth grade, and it has fascinated me ever since.

  2. I should really get some of those small packages of model magic, because you’re right the bigger packages is “use it all now or it’s gone.”

    Love this activity. That’s my kids type of craft.

  3. Lucas says – These are AWESOME as you’ve done a craft about one of my favourite things……….MONSTERS! And these are very awesome monsters!!!! Tanks for linking to #minicreations

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