Simple craft for children with Cricut

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.

1

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.

2

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.

4

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”.

5

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.

6

I cut up the remaining scraps with a scissor so that the preschoolers can use these stickers creatively.

7

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.

9

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:

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