I have a confession to make. I think we over do it on the "craft projects" in the 2-5 (maybe even older) realm. I remember when getting to make a craft project was a special treat in school or maybe during a holiday and now EVERYTHING has a craft project. I love doing crafts with my son, but really don't like to do them all the time, I like them to be special occasion things. We probably get out our crafts supplies about once a month right now and usually it's for a holiday related theme. Granted my son is just more interested in building ramps and roads that using crayons and paints; it's just who he is.
(We also keep craft supplies on hand if he ever gets interested in just exploring or making art on his own, but that's not a "project".)
These are the items I keep on hand for "projects". I love these because I can whip up a project in a small amount of prep time (usually), and they're typically fast to complete which is perfect for my not so crafty son. An additional plus is that I can "finish" these projects to end up with a nice finished project, but because they're easily replicated I don't feel bad throwing them out after they've served their purpose.
1. Tissue Paper - I buy mine in a big stack from the gift wrap section and it takes a while to get through.
4. Con-Tact Paper - use this for almost everything.
5. Watercolor Paper and Watercolor paints - We have acycrlics, but watercolor is so much easier to control and clean up. I got my paper and set in the Clearance section of Hobby Lobby, it was a great score.
Additional Cheats -
- Exact-O knife blade; perfect for cutting out fun shapes without folding up the paper.
- Cookie Cutters - what I use to cut out a lot of my shapes
- Pinterest - where I get most of my ideas
Using just these items I've created some pretty fun, nice craft projects with my 2-3 year old.