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  • Cub Scout Craft Projects

    Often I have a bone to pick with craft projects selected by lady leaders. Usually they are rather artsy but with little practical value, while I favor practical practical projects that boys can customize or decorate if they wish.

    In my experience, men tend to choose that kind of practical project, and boys are usually more interested in that kind of project.

    Also, Cub Scout love to use new tools and equipment, and love to make some kind of practical gear they can use.

    My latest idea----

    making custom hot dog and marshmallow roasting sticks.

    I find wire frames for plastic signs littering roadsides, and I pick those up.

    Have Cub Scouts use bolt cutters to trim off surplus wire so that you have 18" of so of straight steel wire.

    Use garden loppers to cut branches from a tree. Have Cub Scouts use garden loppers to cut sections of tree branches that are 12-18" long and half to 3/4" in diameter.

    Use a drill to drill a hole in the end of the branch section the same size as the wire.

    Boys glue the wire into the hole in the branch section.

    You now have a hot dog roasting stick which can be customized and decorated in lots of ways by Cub Scouts.

    Personally, I'd keep these as Pack gear since they need to be used under supervision to avoid possible misuse as weapons.

    I'm thinking about making these as part of a pack hike scheduled for Saturday. This will be a hike to a beach at low tide, but I like Cub Scout hikes to have several different activities and I like to end hikes with a hot dog roast.

    Making hot dog roasting sticks could be a part of the hike and used for the hot dog roast.

    What inexpensive craft projects have worked well for you or your den or pack?(This message has been edited by seattlepioneer)

  • #2
    I didn't do any craft projects last year with my tiger cubs. We made some posters though. At day camp the scouts made some catapults and crossbows. The crossbows were a little complicated for them, but catapults turned out great, and the boys got to use a hammer. They loved that. Of course they also loved that the catapult was a weapon (of sorts). They shot marshmallows for distance.


    • #3
      I can't recall our gang doing craft projects, but the guys did make cool electric motors - and medicine pouches -


      • #4
        Ok, i am an artsy female and den mother and arranged several craft projects for Tigers last year.

        This one was a big hit with the boys:

        Rock Painting (we did this one at my house, hence the oven)
        materials: Paper Plate, bag of River Rocks from Dollar tree, hot glue gun, round magnets from Hobby Lobby (I use strength 8), old crayons + oven

        Put river rocks on a cookie sheet and stick into the oven at around 350degrees for 10 minutes.

        Give each child a paper plate and using an oven mitt place a hot rock on their plate. Warn them and their parents not to touch the rock with their hands, only the paper plate. Then give them the crayons and watch them 'paint' the rocks. The crayons melt when they touch the rock and it truly is mess free painting.

        Let the rocks dry then hot glue a magnet onto the back of the rock. The kids have their own painted rock to hang on the refrigerator for their schoolwork/pictures then.

        Even the adults were fascinated by this project and were marveled at watching the crayons melt onto the rocks.

        It was Tigers so we had parent partners there to help each child and make sure they didn't touch the hot rock.


        • #5
          I too am a lady leader....we make crafts...
          Neckerchief slides are always popular with our pack.
          Christmas decorations that we hand out when carolling at the nursing home
          Mothers day flower pots that are painted

          The boys of all ages take pride in their work and as they work on a projects the can still listen and learn


          • #6
            I too am a lady leader....we make crafts...
            Neckerchief slides are always popular with our pack.
            Christmas decorations that we hand out when carolling at the nursing home
            Mothers day flower pots that are painted

            The boys of all ages take pride in their work and as they work on a projects the can still listen and learn


            • #7
              We did a lot of crafty stuff with my husband's den when they were Tigers.

              At Christmas, we had a round of crafts at one meeting. They painted inside ball ornaments, made little cub scout figures out of wooden Ts...2 or 3 more things like that. We made rock buddies--they drew face and glued google eyes on rocks.
              They made a tree with leaves with family member names on them.
              Things like that.

              For his Wolf year, we did foam Christmas items (found kits at Walmart)--made snowmen, ornaments, etc. we also made catapults (no kits).

              this year, less "crafts" more "practicality". Electric motors (batteries and paperclips), birdhouse and tool box, doing soap carvings (knife skills)...


              • #8
                We have made key racks, bird house, paper mach bear, bat house, recipe holder, bird feeder, tin relief, sun art paper, clay art and pots, collect large nuts and use googly eyes to create a scout diorama.

                Get a Leader How to book,


                • #9
                  Honestly, I have to agree with the OP in a way.
                  There are fun crafts for boys, and not so fun.
                  My son's Tiger Leader did several crafty projects. Some were hits, some not so much. Mostly, I think they were ok ways to fill the time, but not all that fun or memorable.
                  My son is one of those distractable types, so busy watching the other boys that he rarely finished them.

                  Just about all I remember about Cub Scouts as a kid was doing crafts, and I have to say I don't remember it very fondly.
                  The fun stuff I remember fondly, was the zoo trips, etc... oh, and the time we had the pinewood derby at a car dealership, and they had cheap hot dogs. I ate so many I threw up! Great times!

                  I can see the hot rock one being a hit.
                  The roasting stick, also a hit beacuse of the cool tools.... but I don't think I'll be suggesting that one. Safe bet the boys will be trying to run around with the branches and wire, playing sords, poking, etc... General mayhem you know....


                  • #10

                    I agree this could be a safety issue. But my experience with such things is that if you warn boy and adults about it and end the project while boys are still interested and engaged in it, you can avoid problems.

                    I anticipate collecting the hot dog sticks as soon as they are completed and before boys are getting bored and starting to use their imaginations to create hazards!

                    I might give each boy turning in their project a treat of some kind when they turn in their completed project.

                    Same when it's hot dog or marshmallow roasting time. Terminate the activity while boys are still engaged with it and before they are bored and starting to create their own activity.

                    (That's always one of the keys to good Cub Scout activities, in my opinion.)


                    • #11
                      >>"Often I have a bone to pick with craft projects selected by lady leaders."


                      • #12

                        I dropped out of Cub Scouts circa 1957 or so after just a few weeks. While I'm sure the Den Mother was well intentioned, what I recall was a series of cutesy craft projects in which I had little interest.

                        One of may aims in Cub Scouting has been to have more practical craft projects which introduce boys to new skills and new tools and which have a practical result at the end.

                        Personally I think those kinds of projects are better suited to the interest boys usually have.

                        That's my bias when in comes to craft projects. You are welcome to yours as well.

                        In my experience, mothers tend to do female oriented things and men tend to do male oriented things. That's both understandable and natural.

                        As it happens, all the den leaders and Cubmaster are men, while all the Committee positions (except me) are filled by women.

                        >"Often I have a bone to pick with craft projects selected by lady leaders.">

                        Actually, they seem pretty happy with the situation and a number are VERY happy that the den leaders are men.


                        • #13
                          Mini paper rockets is always a hit. Get about a 6" pvc pipe. Then make paper rockets to slide over them. I used 3x5 index cards for the body, cone and fins. Kids can shoot them a good distance just by blowing through the tube. It's the same principle as the larger paper rockets just using scout air rather than compressed.


                          • #14
                            I find craft projects of all kinds to serve a very very useful purpose nowadays, that may not have been an issue in 1957.
                            In the past if you were in kindergarten or 1st grade etc you were doing a bit of arts and craft stuff at school. You were cutting and gluing and drawing and making magnets and popsicle stick picture frames and all sorts of things.

                            Now in 2012, it seems so much of the artsy crafty stuff of school is GONE. We have a school district here where kindergarteners and 1st graders must have an email address thru the school and check their email every day, they learn to type before they learn to write with a pencil, and cutting and construction paper and glue are discouraged in the classroom. they want those kids to be tech savy and to be reading and writing (typed on computer mostly) by the end of kinder, or beginning of 1st grade.

                            And the only eye hand coordination they get is keyboard to computer or txt all thumbs, and the xbox controller.

                            They don't have experience stringing beads, they struggle to cut out shapes, and they may know glue sticks but not paste or glue because those are too messy. They don't learn the silly little rhymes, or songs, they don't go on field trips, and they don't get much time on the playground to come up with new games on their own or learn classic old school playground games except if taught in PE.

                            I find that arts and crafts at the young ages do need to be thought of to keep it simple, make it fun.
                            making useful tools is always a good idea (like using tongue depressors and clothes pins to make toast tongs to remove toast from the toaster safer for little guys a quick and easy gathering activity).
                            But there are worlds of crafts out there that on the surface are just that--crafts for the fun of it--
                            but with a little thought you turn it into a skills lesson, or give the kids eye hand coordination practice--so when they get to be wolves or bears they can tie the knots and wrap the wire around to make the radio, or run the wires to set up an electronics.
                            string some beads as a cous for your den--works on patterns, as well as tying an overhand knot.
                            make a toilet paper roll santa claus to sit on a shelf can be a decoration for a holiday or a lesson in making something and giving it to someone stuck in a hospital at the holidays and an act of community service.

                            And actually my dh would choose projects that have a bit of just for the decorations sake, and I'd be figuring out how to make something useful. Having a mix of things in the cub scout year is more important.

                            Sometimes it's just too much to ask of the little guys physically. for intance in your example bold cutters to trim wire for boys who have little to no upper body strength it turns into their parents/leaders using the bolt cutters and no hand/arm strength to cut reasonable size branches off of a tree with the garden loppers and cub scouts aren't supposed to use power drills so the scout spends the meeting watching someone else do the work for him and he gets to use the glue.

                            I'd rather the scout cut thin wire and string beads and use small pliers to pinch over the wire so the beads stay in place and then bend it to make a christmas tree shape to hang in the window, instead of the scout watching an adult do work for "his" craft project to make something "useful."

                            your mileage of course may vary.


                            • #15
                              Oh, using bolt cutters to cut steel wire to lengt5h shouldn't be a problem. Choose a suitable diameter branch and boys can use the loppers to cut it to length.

                              Personally, I let Cub Scout use an electric drill when they are carefully supervised. If I had hand operated drills, I would use those.

                              It's not at all uncommon for parents to try to take over such projects, but I just keep encouraging parents to let the boys do the tasks.

                              One of my favorites is watching boys use a staple gun. Usually even Tiger Cubs are just strong enough to operate the staple gun if an adult is behind them holding things in place while the boy uses both hands and all his body weight to work the staple gun.

                              I generally look for opportunities for boys to decorate and customize their projects, since it gives boys a chance to use their artsy/creative impulses.

                              The end result is that both boys who like practical projects and those who like artsy projects find opportunities to do things they enjoy.

                              You will notice this is included in the hot dog roasting stick: