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Crafting for Kids
by Marie E. Cecchini

Creating craft projects for kids is a great market, yet it is seldom written about. It is a simple way to add a tidy sum to your present writing income and it’s also a lot of fun. I have been paid anywhere from $15 to $200 per project, depending on who publishes the piece and how much is involved in completing it. Some publications even pay just for the “ideas”. If you are creative in any way, and most writers are, this can work for you too.

You don’t have to be an artist, but you do have to think like a kid – a little “outside-the-box,” with a lot of imagination. Think you won’t be inspired? Just take a look at children’s toys, books, favorite games, and television shows. What makes kids smile? What excites them? That’s your inspiration. Now, what can you take from this and turn into a simple puppet, mobile, mask, or hat?

While your brain is busy formulating ideas, check out magazine racks and internet sites for children’s and family “zines” that publish children’s craft projects. Be sure to request guidelines, as each publication has different requirements. Guidelines will also tell you whether or not the publication is a paying market. Believe it or not, several places love contributions, but cannot afford to pay for them. This may be okay with you if you have a business, website, or book to advertise in your bio. However, if you do not, is it really worth your time and effort? Only you can decide.

What do publishers look for?

  • Most want projects that are quick, easy, and will appeal to a wide range of children – both sexes and several age levels.
  • Everyone wants something innovative – even if it’s just using familiar materials in new and different ways.
  • Some want projects that use recyclables.
  • Some want projects that can be used with groups of children, such as scouts or church groups.
  • Everyone wants projects that use items you would normally find at home, like construction paper, or items that would be readily available from your local craft store or the craft section of a department store.
  • Some publications want photos with instructions for the craft first, some prefer you send the actual craft for consideration. Guidelines will tell you which.

To seal the deal you will usually need to deliver a well-made sample, along with step-by-step instructions. Directions need to be explicit. Write every word – leave nothing out. Instructions also need to be written in language kids will understand.

If you think this is something you’d like to try to add to your writing income, the following will get you started.

  • Highlights.com – guidelines are on the website
  • craftideas.com – look for Pack-o-Fun – guidelines are on the website
  • cricketmag.com – Carus Publishing – publishes several children’s magazines – guidelines for each are on the website

If you have a creative bone in your body, additional income is at the end of your fingertips.

© Copyright 2007, Marie E. Cecchini

Marie is the author of five books and has created award-winning crafts for children. She also writes children’s poetry as well as articles for parents, teachers, and writers. She can be contacted at MarieE2049@sbcglobal.net.

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