Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Summer Survival: Make-it Take-it

Do your children love crafts, but you don't feel like cleaning up the mess at home?

Does getting in touch with your creative side involve purchasing items at a craft show, while your child wants to paint every pine cone in sight.  

I have a simple solution for you. Throw your kids in the car (not literally) and head on down to a local make-it take-it program.  Watch as your young aspiring artists gets their "craft on" and enjoy the moment.  

While I enjoy crafting at home with my children, I will admit that there is a certain joy in having someone else organize the activity.  It can also be a great environment for young children to interact with others and practice taking turns with materials.  

Take a look below at some of my family's favorite free craft/building programs.  You may be surprised at how many "Make-it Take-it" programs are near you.  (While many of these are national programs, please remember that we are only able to write based on our experiences locally in the East Valley of the Sun.  Always check your local facility before attending.)

Programs that my Children Enjoy:

  • Home Depot Kids Workshops
Home Depot offers free projects for children ages 5-12 to build with their parent/guardian at the store on the first Saturday of the month from 9:00am-12:00pm.  (remember to confirm that these times/dates have not changed)  They recommend that you register online to ensure that they have an appropriate number of kits available.  Click here for the link to Home Depot's website for their Kids Workshops registration.

*Mom Tip - We have found that many Home Depot Kids Workshops include paint.  While you do not have to use the paint, my kiddos always want to make their creations "pretty."  Just be aware of this in case your child or husband wants to wear their favorite clothes.
Yes, my husband got paint on his favorite casual shorts - oh, what a catastrophe.  

  • Lowe's Build and Grow: Kids Clinics
Lowe's offers free projects for children 5 and older to build at their store on set dates/times. Registration opens a few weeks before each clinic. I HIGHLY recommend registering VERY early to reserve a kit for your child, as many of the clinics fill up quickly. Click here for the link to the Lowe's website for their Build and Grow Registration.

Please pay attention to the information provided during registration.  You should receive an email with your registration/waver.  I recommend printing out your waiver and taking it to Lowe's on the day of the event.  This typically speeds up the sign-in process.

  •  IKEA
Ikea in Tempe offers a free kid's craft on the 1st Saturday and the 3rd Sunday of the month from 11:00am - 1:00pm in their Children's Department (on the 2nd floor).  Please call and/or check Ikea's website to confirm the date, time, and location for this event.  There have been times that the Tempe IKEA has held their kid craft in areas other than the children's department.  If you have a different IKEA near you please check for details concerning that store.  I am unaware if this is a national program or specific for the Tempe IKEA store.   

  • Lakeshore  
Lakeshore stores offer a free craft for children on Saturdays from 11:00am-3:00pm.  These crafts are for ages 3 and older and do not require reservations. As with all programs that do not require a reservation I HIGHLY suggest contacting your local store to ensure that they are participating and that the program's details have not changed.  Click here for a link to Lakeshore's online Free Craft schedule and store locator. 

Lakeshore has many locations throughout the USA
Arizona Locations: 
Paradise Valley 
4727 E Bell Rd
Phoenix, AZ 85032

Phoenix - Ahwatukee Foothills Towne Center
4819 E Ray Road
Phoenix, AZ 85044
480 940-7700

  • Wildflower Bread Company Craft and Cookie

Wildflower Bread Company offers Wildflower Kids on Wednesday afternoons from 3:30 - 4:00 pm.  Children receive a small cookie, glass of milk, and materials for completing a craft.  In my experience this is not a structured group activity and is completed by your child at your table.  Sometimes you will see an employee going from table to table handing out supplies and taking milk orders, but typically I have taken my children to the register to obtain their milk, small cookie, and craft.
As with all programs that do not require a reservation I HIGHLY suggest contacting your local store to ensure that they are participating and that the program's details have not changed.  While a purchase is not required, be prepared to have your children make order requests - since it is a bakery/cafe.

I hope that your family enjoys some of these make-it take-it activities this summer!

*Always make sure that you call in advance to confirm that the museum/store/library is participating  and that there are not any special circumstances that you are unaware of (ex. sign-up online, military only, certain hours/days).  Also remember that programs sometimes change. Nothing ruins a day like arriving for a "free" experience with excited children, only to learn that you must pay admission or the program is no longer running at that location.

Remember, that if you have children home during the summer, we are the source for you! Stay tuned as Ramblings of Mama will be posting tips and tricks to thrive throughout the next few months as you strive to survive summer!

Disclosure: No additional compensation was received for this posting. We do not take responsibility for stores/museum/libraries/etc that do not participate or change the details of the programs we discuss.  ALWAYS confirm details directly with the facility before attending.  Links enclosed contain affiliate links.  If you have any questions, please contact Heather RamblingsOfHeather{at} gmail {dot} com


  1. Thank you for posting this! I signed my oldest 4 up to try out the craft at Lowes and will be signing one of them up for a Home Depot one in the future. :D

    1. I hope that you have a wonderful time! They should receive an apron at Lowes and Home Depot to help protect their clothes, but I would recommend making sure they aren't wearing a "nice" outfit. We love hearing from our readers, so please let us know what they build! Thank you for reading Ramblings of Mama and check back for more activities for your family to enjoy.

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