I’ve spent most of my career advocating for open-ended art experiences. I could go on and on about the learning that happens as children express themselves creatively… So I felt pretty ridiculous when I realized that my daughter didn’t stay engaged with art projects because they weren’t especially open ended. Talk about *face-palm* BUT, it’s never too late to change, so I’ve made sure that she has a ton of great supplies available to create whatever her heart desires when it comes to Christmas art. I’m definitely encouraging all of the open ended Christmas crafting!
I know that my own excuse for not making many of these supplies easily available is the mess factor. That’s totally fair – but I always had an answer for this in the classroom – cleaning up those messes teaches children just as much as making them in the first place. So here I am, talking myself out of my own excuses. When I picked out materials to include in this little craft bin I did consider a few things to save my own sanity.
First, there’s no paint. I’m still not ready to leave that particular supply unsupervised and that’s ok! I also picked sequins instead of glitter (they’re slightly easier to clean up), and I tried to organize everything in a way that would make it attractive and engaging, but also really easy to use. Here’s what we have in our bin (most of these supplies are from the Dollar Tree or Target Dollar Spot):
- Pre-cut felt shapes
- Festive pipe cleaners
- Glitter glue pens
- Red and green popsicle sticks
- Small scrapbook paper pad
- Christmas washi tape
- Foam stickers
- A couple of little craft kits
- Pom poms
- Coloring book
I put the smallest pieces – the pom poms and sequins – in an organizer so it’s easy to find everything:
I won’t lie, we’ve already cleaned up and sorted more sequins and pom poms than I care to admit, but my girl is quickly learning how much of a pain that task is. She’s already a lot more careful with these. My favorite thing about this little bin is that it has such a variety of options. If she wants to create from scratch, she can, but if she needs a little guidance that’s available too.
Any of these items would be excellent for a classroom art center. I’d love to see what your little ones come up with!