Crafting with Twins
By Julia Chiarella-Genoni aka Mama MOE
Getting twins ready for a craft can seem daunting, especially if you have another slightly older child, like I do. But it was always so much fun getting them into something crafty even if it only lasted thirty minutes. Now that they are older, they have more concentration to keep to a project for hours, but I truly feel introducing them to arts and crafts early gave them the desire to keep creating.
Over the years, I learned a few things about what can make craft time work for multiple children. Here they are.
- Understand that prepping and cleaning up will take way longer than the actual craft time. Little ones just can’t focus for very long on any one given thing, so knowing that ahead of will help you deal with any expectations you might place on said craft.
- Plan a simple craft to start. Get their feet wet by choosing a project with minimal instructions. A little structure will help them start, then they will just go for it!
- Do not, I repeat, do not ‘fix’ their work. Unless they are really having trouble with the concept or the tools you are using, don’t do anything for them. I have one little guy that always asked for help, even when he didn’t need it. It was his way of getting his craft done really well and doing less of the project himself. Clever maybe, but not creative.
- Getting messy is seriously part of the creation process. I know there are some kids that hate getting dirty. And I know some, like my little guy mentioned above, that want their projects perfect. But getting messy is really part of the fun if you can let go and let them make a mess.
- Be prepared for the mess. One thing that scared me (no really) was paint. I imagined paint everywhere and got nervous to start the project with them. For those of you like me, there is the Gusto bibs with or without sleeves. What I love about these fun-patterned, waterproof bibs is that they have sleeves that adjust to your child’s arm length. How smart is that?! They also have adjustable buttons at the neck for your child’s growth. Nontoxic paint is the only way to go, and simple brushes in all sizes lets kids explore the different effects. For the canvas, we used everything from thick paper to material to actual canvas. Not to mention wooden tree houses and treasure boxes from the dollar store.
- Every creation is special. We love looking back on their creations with the photographs we took. Ideally, a photo book of their works is a nice way to preserve their projects, but I can tell you I haven’t done that yet. Instead, we have a digital frame that rotates pictures of the boys and their creations over the years. It’s a nice way to honour their hard work.
More than anything, I (and I think they do too) remember the time we spent while we were getting creative. Each stage is different with my children, and each child is different as well. Arts and crafts is an excellent opportunity to let their personality shine through.