I'm in my backyard with my two sons, who are 3 and 5 years old, and I decide that I'm going to be Creative Mom. I gather pine needles, sticks, rocks, pinecones, and a few tree leaves that have already turned bright yellow. The boys and I kneel on the paving stones in our backyard. We pick a circular paver, and I begin to make a face with the found objects. Rocks for eyes. Pinecone hair. Twig nose. Those yellow leaves? A handsome bowtie. The boys help a little, but they mostly watch as I assemble the face.
When we're done, my oldest (big smile on his face) enthusiastically asks, "Can we mess it up?"
"Sure," I say, a little deflated.
It took maybe two minutes to make our little portrait, but in two seconds my boys' feet have scattered the needles, rocks, and cones to the four corners of the yard.
It's so much easier to destroy than to build.