This is a project I created for scrumdillydilly but I think it can easily be translated into a kid happy craft as well.
*index cards or equal sized scrap paper
*5-6 colors of crepe paper streamers
To make this kid-happy give them a smaller of piece of paper to work with. If you have a small group of children this will be even more fun as you can see what each child chooses to create. Hand out paper and scissors and set out pre-cut lengths of crepe paper (for kiddos 6 and under) and small bottles filled half-way with glue*.
Scissors-ready children can fold their streamer lengths in half and give them some fringe, older children may be able to scallop if the wish and younger children can leave their streamers as-is. Once they are ready for glueing, hand them their glue bottles (glue sticks will work as well if you prefer) and let them get to work.
If you would like to demonstrate how it is done, begin a discussion using a finished flag and ask the children how they think it was created. You can point out how to work from the bottom up if you really wish for your child to create this specific style but if you leave them alone to create they may surprise you even more. By discussing the project, you are giving your children a dialogue rich in vocabulary and problem solving. You can discuss color theory as well by pointing out a rainbow patter or asking the children to use cool or warm colors. Kick it up a notch and see if the children can create an ABABAB or ABCABCABC pattern in their layering.
Using scissors and squeezing glue bottles promotes both fine and large motor skills as well as self-control. There are all sorts of educational aspects to creating arts and crafts with children. It really is my favorite part of making art with children. All that process makes me very happy. After each child's flag has dried, you can flip them over and trim any excess bits that hang over the edges. Don't trim if your child insists they wish them to remain that way. Hang them along a length of ribbon or string with clothespins and throw an impromptu fiesta complete with cupcakes!
*as a preschool teacher and early childhood art teacher I have found that some children cannot resist squeezing out an entire bottle of glue. If you hand them a small mini bottle such as this or this that is only filled halfway, you can control the gluey-mess a smidge and teach your child a little about control by saying "This is your bottle of glue. When it is empty, it is empty and that will be all the glue for this project." This works most of the time but sometimes there are a few freak outs. When that happens we acknolwedge the child's disappointment and invite them to problem-solve their own solution without giving refilling the glue bottle. After a few rounds they begin to learn more control over the amount of glue they use. Some children however do not seem perplexed over the lack of glue and simply wish to continue squeezing.