Today's activity is actually pretty easy, and frankly, it is just a way for us to show off an amazing idea we found recently! Drawing contests are always fun with the kids at a community because everybody can participate no matter the age and skill level. Plus, it's a cheap option with just some markers, colors, etc. Now, having the drawing be a "contest" can be a bit tricky, because you never want to make the kids feel like they did a bad job, so be careful that you navigate that part carefully. That said, we have found probably the best prize we have ever seen for a drawing contest: You can now have one of the drawings be made into a stuffed animal!
We stumbled across this absolutely brilliant website that creates custom stuffed animals based upon the children's drawings! The original website is called Child's Own Studio and has some great examples of the drawings -> stuffed animals. But it appears that they can't keep up with demand, so this page has a list of other companies/people that will also create a stuffed animal. As you can see, it is pretty expensive, so unfortunately, it can probably only be done for the top prize.
What is absolutely fantastic about this is how unique and memorable it is. The kid who wins is going to remember that community forever, and the parents are going to be thrilled. It is not just a prize, but a true conversation piece, which means your community will get some great publicity!
Tips: When you receive the final product, make sure to have the child come in the office and take pictures! Include the child, the original drawing, and the new stuffed toy. Make sure to post the picture to Facebook, and send a copy to the parents. Even better, print off the picture and give it to them so hopefully they will show it off in their home!