Monster Mess

yarn monsterWhy did I think it would be a good idea to make yarn monsters with a bunch of elementary school students?

It ended up being a monster headache.

Last week I was reminded that I signed up to help with two Valentine’s Day parties at the school. (I signed up last fall and completely forgot.)

So I scanned the Internet looking for easy, fun kid crafts. That’s when I found this craft.

I am sure I was swayed by how cute the little love monsters were. That, and I have a GIANT bag of yarn that takes up more than half of my basement craft closet.

How hard could it be? Wrap yarn around your fingers, tie it into a pom-pom body, glue eyes and antennas on and viola! Cute little monster guy.

It sounded so easy.

I had everything organized. I even had a back-up craft to do if the monsters were too easy. HA! We didn’t even touch the backup craft.

My first grader’s class was first. I had four groups of kids to help with and each group had 10 minutes to make their monsters.

What happened? All heck broke loose.

Kids were wrapping their fingers till the tips turned purple. Yard ends were getting tied into knots. Mini wiggle eyes were flying everywhere, and that was just after the first group.

I brought a glue gun because I thought that would make it easier and faster to glue the pieces on. But that meant I had five or six anxious six year olds all shoving eyes, antennas and accessories at me, anxious to have their monster glued together. I needed six sets of arms.

After the first group I decided to simplify things. Our monsters were going to be bald. No hair. That should solve things, right?

It made it a little simpler, but we still had monster pieces scattered all over the place. And I had a handful of girls who tucked random yarn scraps into their pockets so they could add hair to their creatures later.

If you are a school teacher of any sort you are probably laughing out loud right now because you realize how unrealistic and complicated this craft was.

I can’t tell you how fast a 10-minute rotation goes by when you have yarn flying in your face.

I ran out of time to glue pieces onto the monsters and had students set them in piles on the table. Those poor piles. They mixed and mingled until I could no longer tell what eyes and ears went to what puffs of yarn.

It was an hour filled with absolute chaos. I left that first-grade classroom needing some chocolate and a nap!

Then I realized I had to do it all over again the next day with my other son’s third-grade class.

Luckily most of them listened a little better and I didn’t have as many kids wrap their fingers ‘til they turned purple. But it still was crazy and I wished there were five of me.

Despite all the chaos, I loved how the monsters turned out. I only had a split second to take a picture of a few of them in the first grade.


We took two of them to the cemetery with us and gave one to Luca and one to our grandma Mae for Valentine’s Day.

If, and that’s a big IF, I decide to help with another school classroom craft I’m going to do something simple, something easy and something that doesn’t require me to glue tiny pieces onto a clump of yarn.

I should have stuck with what we were going to do as a backup craft – yarn wrapped valentine’s hearts – and made that our main craft. That would have been a hundred times easier. What was it? Check it out here. You make a heart-shaped yarn ball using a cardboard base. So cute. So easy.

I cut out over 50 cardboard hearts that we never got to use.

Anyone what to make some?

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