Sunday, November 15, 2009

Big Kids and Little Kids

Lately, I've been looking for crafts my kids (ages 1 1/2 and just-turned-four) can do together, and also crafts my older child can make for the younger one.  I'll start with crafts older kids can make for younger kids -- maybe even for upcoming holiday gifts.

Here are a few ideas I've turned up over the past few months.  If you have any good ideas....please share!

"Color Boxes" Big Kids Can make for Babies

Many older siblings love to "teach" their little brothers and sisters things.   Nora was excited about the opportunity to help Soren learn his colors by making "color boxes."  It was even better that my own "little" brother (whom I "taught" many a thing back in the day -- I used to corner the poor child in his walker thing when he was a baby and read to him from an Encyclopedia of Insects -- he still has tremors at the sight of a bug) was in town to help out!  (See hairy arm and sideburns above.)

To make :

--Gather small cardboard boxes and whatever colors of paint you'd like to use (we started with red and green boxes). 

--Paint each box the color you're hoping to teach.  We painted them inside and out, even on the bottom, 'cause we just get a little crazy when we paint.

--When your box is dry, Mod Podge or spray-shellac it so that the finish is shiny and it will open and close easily.  (Note: Conventional Mod Podge dries tacky.  You can use "Hard Drying" Mod Podge or a coat of spray shellac on top of a Mod Podged box, so that the finish is shiny and smooth.)

--When the varnish coat is dry, wander around the house with your older child and have him or her help you gather appropriately colored objects to fill the box!

Nora loves going through the items in the box with Soren and teaching him his colors. 

"Touch-and-Feel Picture" for Younger Siblings

Older kids can design a "touch-and-feel" picture for their younger brothers and sisters, or even make a whole book.  Nora worked on this picture for her little brother when he was about 16 months old.  He loved it, although it's the kind of thing you'd want to supervise a younger child with (I don't think 3-year-olds really understand, you know, safety codes when making a toy for a younger sibling, so we glued things like craft pasta onto Soren's picture -- obviously, this item would be recalled from Toys R Us!...).  But, Nora enjoyed presenting Soren with her picture, and his little fingers were busy exploring all the fun textures.


--Gather materials: 2 large pieces of heavyweight paper; crayons and paints; "feely" materials (felt, pom-poms, fine grit sandpaper, pipe cleaners, anything you think a younger child might like to feel); glue.

-- Let your child design a picture they think their younger sibling would like.  Nora chose "an ocean scene," but then asked me "to draw a car in it because Soren loves cars."  See?  So thoughtful.  ;)

--When the picture is dry, cut holes in it wherever a "feely" material should go.

-- Line up your two pieces of paper.  Wherever you have made a circle in the top sheet, glue your "feely material" to the bottom sheet so that it shows through.

-- When all of your feely items are glued into place and the two pieces of paper are lined up, glue the two pieces together.

--  There!  A fun picture for the baby to admire and feel.  It's so sweet to watch your older child present the little one with a gift!

~~ A few more ideas for Big Kids and Little Kids: ~~

-- Mama's Doodles has a clever and adorable Onesie designed by an older sibling craft.  The big brother or sister colors a picture on fine grit sandpaper with crayons, and then mama irons the image right onto a onesie -- a great gift for a new baby to wear home from the hospital, or maybe a fun present from big kid to little kid for the baby's first birthday!

Play Tips for Different-Aged Siblings

Games "Big Kids" Can Play with Their Younger Siblings


Rachel said...

I LOVE THESE! Obviously Emma Grace wouldn't be able to enjoy these quite yet, but we're sooooooooooo doing the onsie idea for Christmas; Reese will love it! :) Thank you!

Emily Day said...

I look forward to having a child who can do these great ideas. I found one I thought you might be interested in and so here is the link.