Sep 25, 2014

Tips and Tricks for Crafting with Siblings

Today, I am super excited to have another blogging bestie sharing on House of Burke! Devany, of Still Playing School has an awesome blog where she crafts and explores with her daughter E and son D, while celebrating and honoring their sister V. If you haven't checked out the amazingness that is Still Playing School, you must. Devany is the queen of creativity and is always coming up with genius activities! Don't forget to follow on social media too: Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest

I am so excited to be guest posting here at House of Burke as the Burke family welcomes baby Bentley! As the mother of three (with only two here with us) one of the most precious things to be is watching my children interact. I can't wait to watch Blayne enjoy the same experience so I am sharing my tips and tricks for crafting with two (or more) siblings simultaneously!

Kingston and Blayne are veteran, talented crafters! I have no doubt that they will keep cranking out the creative craft ideas as baby Bentley joins them. In our house, our oldest was a self-motivated, independent crafter from the beginning and our toddler is not. Due to their differences in personality and age there are several things we do when they craft together.

1. Adapt to accommodate the abilities of both children with the same project:
The inspiration for this craft was actually House of Burke's contact paper crafts except we used Discount School Supply's collage board shapes. We love these shapes because they are sticky and adaptable for both our preschooler and toddler. My preschooler could use glue but my toddler would be frustrated with the amount of time and dexterity that would require so an adhesive ready-to-go craft like contact paper is best!

2. Allow your older child to prep the supplies and materials:
We know from our post about how older siblings can help with new babies that children thrive when we set them up in successful leadership roles! Much in the same way I ask our preschooler to gather the materials we need for our crafts, explain the process to her little brother (hearing her repeat the directions in this way also allows me to discover if she understands them herself), and prep any tricky parts that our toddler can't yet complete. Here she is cutting out foil scales for our sticky fish collages with scissors.

3. Have alternate and extended activities ready for the younger sibling:
While our preschooler was cutting out the foil, our toddler was having a sensory experience exploring a piece as well. We were discussing the concepts of in/out and empty/full while he stuffed the material in a play cup! Since their attention span varies with their age and personality, I like to have a few other ideas in mind to keep my toddler occupied while his sister continues to craft. Sometimes he is napping while we start and he joins us when he wakes up. Other times he might have a snack while she puts the finishing touches on her project (and snacks at the same time)!

4. Follow their lead:
Some children enjoy collaborating on projects while others would rather have separate but similar masterpieces. Our children participate in both types of crafts depending on the day and their moods! I tend to let them decide if they will allow the other to assist with their work while gently guiding them to respect each other's artwork.

Comparing and displaying both of your children's work together is so heartwarming! With a little bit of prep and pre-planning you can transition from crafting with one child to two (or more). I can't wait to see the projects that the House of Burke boys create together soon!

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