Many parents and teachers spend lots of time looking for easy craft projects for their children and students to do. The fact that they are looking for crafts that are easy shows crafts in a negative light.
The truth is that good arts and crafts for children should not be difficult and if they are, then they are not really appropriate for children. Sometimes you will have some websites claiming that they have really easy crafts for kids to do and they may be easy but, are also not good for kids.
Crafts when done right, in a developmentally appropriate manner should be very beneficial for child, even teaching them to think.
Let us say for example that you are a teacher and you need to make a fourth of july crafts project for the kids to bring home.
One way of doing this is to make a flag. Then hold up this template of what the flag should look like and have the child create the same exact flag that you held up for them to copy.
This however, gives the child no benefit. There is no thinking involved, no creativity, no enjoyment and the only thing the kid gets out of it is maybe a bit of work oh his fine motor coordination.
If you really want children to learn to think when doing crafts the way to do so is as follows:
Prepare an empty flag for the children. The prepare an assortment of materials that the children can use to decorate their flags with.
Just because it is July fourth does not mean that the children have to make stars ad strips. If you give them an array of red, white and blue materials and allow them to create the kind of flag that they want, you will be very surprised. There will be tremendous creativity involved plus lots of thinking.
The children now have all of these materials in front of them and they have to make the decision on how to decorate that flag. If that's not thinking at their level I don't know what is.