Great conversation in this one. Some good advice that I'm hearing too.
Me and a few guys from my church did a decoy making project at a local boys home. I Pre cut some foam bodies, top view only, and pre made some heads. The first day, we shaped the bodies with sureform rasps and sand paper. Then we burlapped them. It was messy, but all10 kids did one. The following weekend, we painted them with samples of Behr latex.
The cost was pretty low and the kids had fun. I'm sure we could just skip the burlap and do the whole thing in one day.
We've done a few projects there over the years, and every time, the guys and I were all blessed by those kids. A boy I was working with, just all of a sudden looked up and said to me " I really appreciate you for coming here and spending time with us, I figured I wouldn't have anything to do again." The following week, those kids visited our little church and that 14 year old walked up to the front and asked the Lord into his life. It was wonderful to have a small part in that. I don't know who was blessed more that day, us or the kids.
I think the trick for getting kids interested, is doing something simple. In just a few hours they had a painted decoy. Heck, even the adults enjoyed it. We also do the pinewood derby racers, for the same reason.. simplicity. Just an idea I wanted to share. Glad this thread reminded me of it.