Kids love to make shit. We know this. But crafts can seem intimidating when the most creative thing you remember doing is peeling dried glue off your desk. So you don’t have an art degree? Have no fear. Crafts don’t need to be complicated and you don’t need any fancy supplies. You don’t even need to know what the craft is supped to be. Just give them a few simple tools and see what they come up with.
With little ones, I find that when the activity has too many steps or is too structured, the parent usually ends up taking over to help make sure the desired end result is achieved. Yes, I know it’s frustrating when they put things upside down and backwards and it doesn’t look anything like its “supposed to”, but that’s the beauty of kids and crafts. Let go and let them do their thing.
Hold on tight because these ideas are going to blow your mind!
Crayons + Paper
BAM! How easy is that? You can also substitute crayons for markers if you’re feeling wild. Or highlighters and overdue bills – whatever you have on hand.
Just know that you will be expected to cover your fridge and all surrounding walls in these scribbly creations they made with such pride.
Paper + Scissors
This one does require child-safe scissors unless you want to risk unplanned hair cuts and possible injuries. I know this sounds like a nightmare but this keeps my kids occupied for a long time and as long as you avoid carpeted areas, all you have to do is sweep up a million tiny pieces of paper when they’re done. This doesn’t usually create anything but a mess, however, it does create several minutes where my children are occupied and I can get some work done. Plus, using scissors is a great fine motor skill. You don’t want to send your child off to kindergarten not knowing how to use a pair of scissors.
Paint + Rocks
Gather some rocks from outside and some washable paint. I like to do this outside because guaranteed, they’re going to get paint everywhere. But if outside isn’t an option, use a big tray or put a garbage bag down. At the end of the day, it is just paint. It washes off. If you don’t have paintbrushes, try Q-tips or let them finger paint. Put the colourful rocks in your garden to distract attention from the weeds and dead flowers.
Cheerios + String
This is another great fine motor activity for preschoolers. Tie a knot at the end of the string and add on some dry cereal or pasta. Don’t have string? Try some dental floss and weave in a lesson on oral hygiene. Beware that you will be expected to wear this edible jewellery. To avoid this embarrassment, suggest gift ideas for friends and family to deflect attention from yourself.
Play Dough + Kitchen Utensils
This is not where I recommend an easy to make play dough recipe. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Buy some from Dollarama and call it a day. Give them a few cookie cutters or random kitchen utensils and remind them not to actually eat it. You can leave their favourite masterpieces out to harden so you can treasure them forever. Or until they have forgotten about them long enough that you can safely dispose of them without facing the wrath of your child.
Chalk + Pavement
Everyone loves sidewalk chalk. You can buy this at the dollar store too. They will love being able to draw on the driveway or patio or deck. (Maybe just not the vehicles but it’s your call). Help them make a hop scotch board if you feel like being ‘Parent of the year’. Or sit on a comfortable chair with a chilled beverage – Cheers!
*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Parent Life Network or their partners.