It's not as difficult as you think to get creative with your kids. If you can't face the idea of mess then there are lots of things you can do that don't have to involve paint.
Getting creative with your kids can start from an early age, with just a little imagination.
Time: From just a few minutes to hours of fun
The easiest way to begin is with books. Children enjoy repetition and you'll soon find some books become firm favourites. My son loves 'We're Going On A Bear Hunt'. He can tell me most of the story and sometimes we change the words. As your kids get older you can start to make up stories with them. You could even draw pictures to go with the story and clip them together to make your own book.
Red lentil shaker and pan drum
Who doesn't love music? Make shakers with your children from old drinks bottles filled with pasta or rice (and the lid screwed on firmly) or get out the pots and pans with a wooden spoon to create a drum kit. For more music ideas click here
Handprint impression in salt dough
There are lots of great craft websites with ideas of what to make with children of all ages. Try MyKidCraft and you could also share what you do and earn a little spare cash. Salt dough is easy and cheap to make and kids of all ages will enjoy making anything from handprint impressions to Christmas decorations. Once baked hard it can be painted and decorated.
Encourage your child to play make believe games and before you know it they will be happily playing with anything that comes to hand. My toddler likes to make me pretend cups of tea and just as I'm about to drink them he shouts 'watch out it's hot'. An old cardboard box can be made into just about anything from a space ship to a playhouse with lots of fun adventures just waiting to happen.
When the weather's good, you can't beat fresh air. Take along a bag and encourage your child to collect things they find interesting. With just a piece of paper and a crayon you could teach them how to take a bark rubbing or collect some flowers (not endangered or from other people's gardens) and press them under some heavy books.
Cover up and get the paints out. From an early age you can take foot prints and as your children get older they will enjoy progressing from finger paints to using brushes. On a warm day you could even go outside and try cotton ball dunking.
What creative fun do you have with your kids? Share your ideas in the comments box.