Have you seen some of the cool stuff made with popsicle sticks? A big box of them is a good way to get the creativity flowing with the rowdy grandkids. You can buy a box at any craft store for five or six dollars.
Popsicle sticks and glue are the basic ingredients, you can also throw in some acrylic paint, beads and fabric scraps to liven it up a bit. White school glue works for some projects, but a glue gun is immediate gratification...and kids are into immediate gratification.
Every one of my grandkids have made stuff with popsicle sticks; from boats and tents to collage pictures. When they are very small, 3 to 6 years, I help them with the glue gun and brainstorm with them for ideas on what to build. By the time they are older I hope I have instilled in them a sense of "what would happen if", and let them experiment to their hearts content. If it works ..great!!!.....if not then try another way.
If you ask me popsicle stick art is a form of folk art and once the kids starting having fun with them I ordered a fabulous lamp from Ebay so they could see how intricate their structures could become. I love this lamp!!