Every year I volunteer to set up a table at a local children's festival put on by the Children's Task Force. This festival is over two decades old and I remember attending as a child.
Local organizations and businesses set up tables with hands on activities for children. The first few years I did paper bag puppets, pasta necklaces and things like that. I found there were often duplicates of my activities around the room.
Several years ago I started bringing colored masking tape and black cardstock. This is such a hit every year now.
I am always amazed by the different ages that participate and the amazing creativity that I see. The last couple years I have also added stickers for the smaller toddlers.
Some children sit and stick two pieces of tape and are ready to move on (there is a lot of things to do).
Some children stay at the table for A LONG time working on one picture or sometimes making several (if their parents allow them the time).
Some children come back later in the day to make a new picture (or to add details to their original).
The children use this open ended material in so many different ways that reflect their age and creative styles. For the first time this year a child (4 years old) cut up his paper and taped it back together into an animal. "Naturally" if you have tape, you must need something to tape together.
Other creative styles I see:
Initials and Names
Smoothed out tape
Crumpled table (intentional and not)
Kids love tape. The End.
** I purchase the tape from Discount School Supply. I prefer the 3/4" size.