My favorite activity with the kids: Sock Day!
I told a made-up story about a boy who wouldn't wash his socks, and then I taught the kids a great little ditty that claims, "Black socks, they never get dirty, the longer you wear them, the stronger they get. Sometimes I think I should launder them; something keeps telling me, don't wash them yet. Not yet, not yet."
And then we made sock puppets. The older kids, ages 10-13, sewed eyes, noses, mouths, hair and clothes onto their socks using scraps of fabric and plastic sequins. The littler children, ages 5-9, used markers and pipe-cleaners to make their dolls.
Some of the older boys opted to make sock bombs instead. To make a sock bomb, we simply stuff the foot of a sock with old wood-shavings and then tie the ankle off. The boys then had Sock Olympics, competing in the "Underhand Sock Toss", the "Overhand Sock Toss", the "Between-the-Legs Sock Toss" and the "Facing Backwards Sock Toss." Obinio (2nd photo below) was the overall champion!
I had feared that it might be difficult to maintain these rowdy ghetto children's attention for an hour-long art and crafts project, but they truly enjoyed it. They also got surprisingly creative, adding things like ears, eyebrows, arms, glasses, and even one apron complete with pocket.
Lesson learned today: the kids love arts and crafts!