This was the craft that the youngest group completed — a Western bookmark.
I got the original idea from Making Friends, the same place I got the idea for the Western coasters.
Here's a close-up view of the top and bottom.
When they were done with their bookmark they were able to put it back in the baggie (name marked on it with a Sharpie) for their leader to keep until the end of the day. Then there were no swinging bookmarks to hit other kids in the head, which still almost happened, and no one got theirs mixed up with anyone else.
Placing a standard DVD box over the bookmark gives you a realistic idea of the length.
The two oldest groups made what is called a God's eye (specific directions can be found here).
I used my hot glue gun and pre-glued about 150 sets of sticks together. I also cut lengths of yarn from variegated skeins in 20 feet lengths. I was able to get by with 15 feet, but we allowed them extra in case they did it more loosely, overlapped their yarn, etc. There were also some skeins with very thin decorative yarn. Since I knew it would take more to get around the lengths of the sticks, I cut it in 30 feet lengths.
I loosely wrapped them into bundles (I just wrapped them around two of my fingers) and then we placed them all out on the tables in the front of the room. We had the kids come up and select the yarn they wanted to use. We gave the older kids the option of making two, one to give to a friend as a witnessing opportunity to share about all the things they learned in VBS.
I was shocked. I honestly thought that this craft would be one of the least enjoyable, especially with the oldest group. They adored it. The ones that got done quickly came back and asked if they could make more than two, and since their snack wasn't ready on time some of them were able to make four, five, and even six. I didn't have a single set of popsicle sticks left!
I shared the link for the specific directions. I didn't number the sticks. I tried it that way at home but it was very confusing. We found that if you turn the sticks as you are lacing the yarn around them it follows a simple pattern and the kids were able to do it more easily. Some of them we found worked it better if we told them "cross over two, under one, over two, under one". Some of the boys were actually saying it under their breath as they were doing it!
I didn't find a way to get fired, so I'm doing crafts again next year.