If you're one of those people who enjoys doing multi-step crafts with your children, where you have to do things like use x-acto knives and craft paper, bless your heart. Maybe you're a frustrated artist. Maybe you like doing everything for your children. Maybe you don't like crafts that look like they were made by actual children. Maybe you drink a lot of wine at nap time.
You may have guessed that I am not one of those people.
I'm not much of a free-range parent, except when it comes to crafting. Then I believe the less parental influence, the better. I see my job as providing material and encouragement, not using a hot glue gun or cutting out 100 shapes or tracing patterns or what have you. This is not solely because I am lazy, but because I believe it's pretty easy to squelch creativity. And I would like my kids to be creative. Which, I've been told by many of their teachers, they are.
Behold, the secret to raising creative kids:
My kids have access to markers, crayons, pencils, glue and paper at all times. Admittedly, this has worked better since Hugmonkey grew out of the draw on the walls phase, but hopefully you're better at supervising your young children than I was. The easy access makes craft time something than can do anytime, not just when I feel like it. Plus, this way they can mix media and clean up after themselves much easier.
I actually stole the whole concept from my classroom teaching days, where each table grouping shared pencils, glue sticks and crayons (most of my students couldn't afford to bring in supplies of their own). I had tried tubs and pencil boxes with my own kids, but nothing seemed to work the way I wanted it to. Until I remembered the caddies. Luckily, we had decorated some at Ironflower's 4th birthday party and I'd held onto to them.
So honestly, instead of searching for the perfect craft and spending hours prepping for it, just put a caddy together and let your kids decorate it with stickers. Then hand over the paper and watch the creativity flow. The results might not be pin-worthy, but your kids will learn a lot more.
We got our caddies from a birthday party, but I'm thinking of ordering these from Amazon so I can have more: