Don’t Squish My Creativity! Open Ended Art That Is Practically Free For Kids

Check out the creative kids art we created and tips for how to do open-ended arts and crafts with your child. Even better these ideas are almost free!

You would not believe all of the treasures I have been finding lately. I am currently packing my house to move which means you uncover everything you forgot you had. While I have been spending some of my time daydreaming about redesigning my living room into a chic West Elm style, I have also unearthed mountains of craft supplies. I had no idea we had so much glitter, pipe cleaners, and foam stickers. No joke, what I have kept fills three boxes and does not include what I have donated elsewhere.

Creating is a big part of my family life with my daughter. The trick is sometimes just to go in with materials in hand and not a specific plan. Sure, sometimes it is nice to make detailed scenes or sculptures with your kids for a particular season. Making art is just as much about the process of creating as the finished product. Not only does it get their creativity flowing, but it also can help to learn problem-solving skills and improve your child’s fine motor skills.

So now dear readers, it is time to raid your craft supply drawer or closet. This is an excellent way to use up some of those bits and pieces left over from other crafts. You can add or subtract based on what you have, but here is what my daughter and I collected.

  • Paper plates
  • Disposable cups
  • Pipe Cleaners
  • Foam Stickers
  • Feathers
  • Scissors
  • Glue

Here is what she made! We are currently decorating our dinner table with this piece.

creative craft kids art

I also had included dried pasta, glitter glue, and a few other cardboard boxes from the recycling bin that my daughter choose not to use this time. I also found some fun colored duct tape, but my daughter was interested in creating a separate Duct Tape Craft with that. You can also include decorative items that are for a particular holiday or season. Free-form creativity is a great way to incorporate some of those fall leaves, acorns, flowers, rocks, sticks and other natural items. We have a spot in the backyard for my daughter’s “rock collection” that includes a handful of nature items perfect for the unstructured creative time.

I sometimes fall into the rut of saying my daughter’s artwork is nice or pretty. I have been working on trying to ask her more critical questions about her artwork both to help me understand more and to encourage her creative thinking. Here are a few questions I have started asking when she shows me art she has made.

  • Tell me about what you made…
  • Where did you get the idea for your art?
  • Why did you choose the color….?
  • What did you use to make this artwork?
  • What should we do next with this piece of art?

For more ideas to get your kids talking, you may want to check out this post from the Huffington Post. 25 Ways to Ask Your Kids ‘So How Was School Today?’ Without Asking Them ‘So How Was School Today?’ This article has some great ideas to help you get a conversation rolling with your kiddo. While this post is not art specific, I have found that while my kid is making crafts is a great time to talk to them more about their day at school.

What is your favorite question to ask your child about their artwork?

23 thoughts on “Don’t Squish My Creativity! Open Ended Art That Is Practically Free For Kids”

  1. I really love this article. When my stepdaughter was 6, I started noticing she’d get really down on herself when the craft we were doing didn’t look like the sample in the instructions. So, we started doing open-ended crafts instead. She not only enjoyed herself more, but we got to bond over our imagination. :-)

  2. “Open ended art” is my granddaughters favorite kind. Even when I plan the project, she always wants to make hers unique and different from what was planned. Thank you for sharing this idea, I’m sure we’ll be adventurous soon and try something like this!

  3. Now that is some art that I would love to feature on my mantle or table. Really very pretty and creative and I love how inexpensive it is to do.

  4. My daughter is taking it upon herself to start her own art project. I have to bite my tongue with the messes she makes in my craft room because I am really excited that she is taking such an interest in creating art.

  5. This is very smart idea, my nieces and nephews always wanted to create a unique crafts, they would totally love this.

  6. It is so much fun to see what kids can come up with using supplies from the craft closet. My daughter was always making things like this for me.

  7. That came out so cute. I always asked my son why he picked certain colors. Even when he was just coloring he always made it look like a rainbow.

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