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Super Simple Crafts that Encourage Creative Play

I’m not a very crafty mom. I have fun trying to be, but my results are typically right on par with my 5- and 2-year-olds’. Regardless of my own abilities, I do encourage my kids to do something creative every day. They love art just like most preschoolers, and I love anything that gets them to sit still for at least 4 seconds. So, in addition to our standard construction-paper-and-marker basics (which are usually a happy go-to), every now and then I aim to do a craft that’s not only fun to make, but also creates something they can play with using their imaginations for the rest of the day (or until the 2-year-old rips it apart). Here are a few ideas you can try on a rainy day or whenever you need an easy activity!

Construction paper crowns – I got this idea from my kids’ awesome preschool. All it takes is paper cut into a thick strip, some markers and tape. Let them draw/color on the paper, add stickers, and/or glitter if you’re feeling super festive. As your child gets older, they may be able to help make more “crown-like” cuts along one side of the paper. Simply wrap it around their little head, tape and you have a king/queen/prince/princess to pretend along with! My son often comes home from school with a crown on and leaves it on until bath time.

Anything on a popsicle stick! Pipe cleaners + a little pom-pom on the end = animal whiskers. Cut out traced hearts or letter B’s that your child has decorated = a butterfly. Pipe cleaners, feathers, or paper strips = mustache. You’re getting the gist.

Paper plate masks – You can buy a huge pack of really basic white paper plates for suuuuper cheap, and it’ll last you many fun crafting hours. We love to cut out eyes and then the kiddos can decorate a face – or just scribble all over it if that’s more their speed. Then you have a mask that can be put on another popsicle stick or just held up to their face as they pretend whatever their little imaginations come up with.

Even though these crafts only take a few minutes, by mixing it up now and then my kids get more engaged and I feel like I’ve helped encourage their creativity. Permission to pat myself on the back and relax while they’re occupied for a few minutes!

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