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July 11, 2023

8 Creative DIY Crafts for Middle Schoolers for Afterschool Activities

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8 Creative DIY Crafts for Middle Schoolers for Afterschool Activities

8 Creative DIY Crafts for Middle Schoolers for Afterschool Activities

After a busy day of structured academics, middle schoolers often seek outlets for creativity and self-expression. This is where the role of afterschool activities comes into play. Besides providing a break from academic learning, these activities serve as a platform for holistic growth and development. Amidst the myriad options available, DIY crafts stand as an appealing choice within afterschool programs, offering opportunities for exploration and learning in a relaxed, enjoyable environment. With their hands-on, interactive nature, DIY crafts stimulate critical thinking, accommodate diverse learning styles, and promote the tenets of project-based learning. Moreover, they allow students to harness their creativity and translate abstract ideas into tangible products, fostering a sense of accomplishment. Through this post, we delve into the significance of DIY crafts for middle schoolers and present eight innovative crafts that can be seamlessly integrated into their afterschool routines.

The Importance of DIY Crafts in Middle Schoolers' Afterschool Activities

DIY crafts form a vital component of afterschool programs, creating an environment that extends beyond the traditional classroom, fostering a hands-on approach to learning. These craft activities ignite the creative spark in middle schoolers, providing an outlet for their imagination while enabling the development of critical thinking skills. The process of brainstorming, designing, and creating crafts facilitates community-based learning, encouraging students to apply knowledge and solve problems in a practical context.

Moreover, DIY crafts have the unique ability to cater to diverse learning styles. Whether a student prefers visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learning, crafting offers varied ways for all learners to engage effectively. In essence, these creative activities empower students to take charge of their learning journey, transforming the afterschool hours into a dynamic space of exploration and growth. Let's delve into the world of DIY crafts and discover how they can enrich the afterschool experience for middle schoolers.

8 Creative DIY Crafts for Middle Schoolers

Stepping into the vibrant world of DIY crafts, we have handpicked eight creative activities that your middle schoolers will love. These activities provide a platform for students to express their creativity, engage with project-based learning, and develop their critical thinking skills, all while having a blast in their afterschool program.

1. Paper Mache Sculptures

Introduce middle schoolers to the world of 3D art forms with paper mache sculptures. Whether it's animal figures or decorative bowls, this activity not only stimulates creativity but also develops critical thinking as they figure out how to shape and mold their creations. This is project-based learning made fun and tactile in an afterschool setting.

2. Handmade Greeting Cards

This DIY craft is an excellent way for children to express their emotions creatively. They will employ design, writing, and decorating skills, appealing to various learning styles. Crafting handmade greeting cards encourages students to consider the recipient's preferences, fostering empathy, and understanding - key components of emotional intelligence.

3. DIY Puzzles

Transform afterschool programs into a hub of problem-solving with DIY puzzles. Students can draw a picture on a cardboard sheet, cut it into puzzle pieces, and challenge their friends to solve it. This not only encourages critical thinking but also promotes collaborative learning, an essential aspect of project-based learning.

4. Homemade Slime

This activity is a hands-on introduction to the basics of chemistry, making learning interactive and fun. Students can experiment with colors and textures, making the slime personalized. The process of making and playing with slime caters to kinesthetic learners and provides sensory stimulation, enhancing focus and concentration.

Middle schooler making slime

5. Beaded Jewelry

Making beaded jewelry helps develop fine motor skills and fosters creativity. Students can design and create bracelets, necklaces, or keychains, incorporating elements of project-based learning. By planning their designs and selecting their beads, they exercise their critical thinking skills, making this a fun and educational addition to afterschool programs.

6. DIY Wind Chimes

Creating wind chimes allows students to experiment with various materials like old keys, shells, or beads, and connect with the basics of sound and music. This craft caters to different learning styles and encourages exploration, making it an excellent choice for project-based learning within an afterschool program.

7. Hand-Painted T-Shirts

This DIY craft provides a platform for students to wear their creativity! Students can experiment with different techniques, patterns, or even create their own logos, catering to their unique learning styles. By planning and executing their designs, they engage in project-based learning, honing their critical thinking skills in the process.

8. Homemade Planters

By creating homemade planters using recycled materials, students are introduced to the concept of sustainability while brightening up their homes with greenery. The task of designing, building, and caring for their plants aligns with project-based learning, encouraging critical thinking, and offering an enriching experience to students in their afterschool programs.

From paper mache sculptures to homemade planters, these DIY crafts cater to various interests and learning styles. They infuse fun into learning, promoting critical thinking, creativity, and project management skills. Try these ideas in your afterschool program and watch how each craft turns into a dynamic learning journey for your middle schoolers.

Incorporating DIY Crafts into the Afterschool Routine

To effectively integrate DIY crafts into afterschool programs, a well-planned strategy can make the process both engaging and rewarding. Begin by setting aside a designated 'crafting hour' each day, which children can look forward to after their regular classes. Introduce a new craft each week to sustain interest and anticipation. This provides students with a range of activities, catering to their diverse learning styles and preferences.

In this environment, every student is given the opportunity to engage in project-based learning, working on their crafts from conception to completion. This fosters a sense of ownership, bolsters their critical thinking skills, and provides a practical understanding of project planning and execution.

Moreover, ensure all necessary materials are accessible to students, encouraging them to take charge and make choices independently, a key component in leadership development. Additionally, foster a safe and inclusive atmosphere where students feel comfortable expressing their ideas, making mistakes, and learning from them. Recognize and validate their effort and creativity at every step, which can significantly boost their confidence and drive their motivation for learning.

Remember, the goal of these afterschool activities extends beyond the crafts themselves. It is about nurturing a love for learning, stimulating critical thinking, and creating a memorable, enriching experience for each student.


DIY crafts in afterschool programs serve as a vibrant and engaging platform for middle schoolers to apply their classroom learning in a creative, practical way. These hands-on activities go a long way in fostering critical thinking, accommodating various learning styles, and aligning with the principles of project-based learning. When creativity meets education, the possibilities for growth are endless.

While implementing these craft activities into your curriculum, we understand that managing and organizing these programs can be a daunting task. That's where Curacubby steps in, offering a dynamic platform to streamline your afterschool program. From scheduling to tracking progress, our solutions are tailored to simplify your administrative tasks, freeing up more of your time to foster creativity and learning. So, take the first step towards enriching your middle schoolers' afterschool activities with creative DIY crafts, and let Curacubby handle the rest. Together, let's craft an unforgettable learning journey for our young learners.

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