Cricut is the brand-name of a product range of home die-cutting machines used for scrapbooking and various projects. These can be useful for developing craft programs in libraries for children, especially when you need multiples of a craft element.
Below is a simple craft I did at a preschool that accompanied a storytime related to gardening. After looking at some wild illustrations of plants in picture books, I wanted to give the children a chance to create on their own.
The machine I am using is Craft Explore Air 2. It is widely available at many retailers.
I log into Cricut Design Space from my desktop computer via the internet. I can also use Design Space from an app on my phone. I can create a design on my own or I can choose from many templates or pre-made designs. Because my topic was gardening I do a search for plant stems.
When I find an item I like, I simply import this into the Design Space. Once it is imported I copy and paste it several times so that I can have multiples of the same element cut onto my vinyl paper. The vinyl paper is 12″ square and come in a variety of colors.
I click on the “Make It” button in design space. I am then prompted to load my vinyl paper using the design mat. I connect my computer or phone to the Cricut with bluetooth. There is also a material type knob on the machine which I set to “vinyl”.
The cricut machine cuts out multiples of my stem that I will use in the project. The stems are then easily peeled off of the sheet.
I cut up the remaining scraps with a scissor so that the preschoolers can use these stickers creatively.
I place the sticker stems on construction paper. Below it I cut out some cre paper to represent grass and I fasten it down with double-sided tape. You can let the children do this step too, if you like.
I make twenty of these in various colors to bring to my preschool group. I then supply them with the scraps and crayons in order to see what they come up with. The finished result looks something like this: