Friday Craft: Eggshell Mosaic

eggshell mosaic DIY - 2houses

So it’s been a couple years I think since I did a Friday Craft post! Planning for specific crafts is not a strong area for me. I am much better at fostering an environment that promotes and provides for creativity, and my children are constantly crafting on their own. But, there is something to be said for a craft orchestrated by mom, and enjoyed by the whole family. I do have quite a few crafts in the queue right now, most of them at Larkspur and Keats’ request. So, it may be that I bring back Friday Craft posts here and there.

First step: Break the eggs

We got the idea to make eggshell mosaics from Emma Hardy’s Green Crafts for Children. However, I tend to take most craft ideas and transform them into an activity that focuses more on the process than the product.
We began by saving eggshells for a few days, washing them, and letting them dry.

Second step: Color the broken eggs

While we could have made natural dyes and added another dimension to this project all together (see my article on natural egg dyeing in Bamboo magazine’s Spring 2011 issue HERE), we chose to dye our eggshells with food coloring. (no exact measurements, just enough to richly dye the water. I added a splash of vinegar to each jar too which was probably unnecessary.)

Everyone took turns adding eggshells to the colored water and then we let them sit overnight (longer than necessary.)

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By Ginny for her blog

What is Diversity? Egg activity

egg activity for diversity - 2houses

With Martin Luther King Jr Day approaching, consider introducing the idea of diversity and cultural differences to your children. It will be easy to start with this really great egg activity. A great visual demonstration is always tops in our book here at Kids Activities Blog.

1 white egg
1 brown egg

What is Diversity

One of the beautiful things about our little ones is that color, cultural differences and even language usually don’t phase them. Notice that I used the word “phase” because kids are very observant so they do notice the differences. Let’s start teaching them when they are young that accepting and celebrating the differences is a way of life. This will not only have a lasting impression on their own life but impact the world as well.

When we first arrived to South America my son didn’t have a grasp of the Spanish language, the children were a bit smaller then his anglo body type (he gets that from his father) and he was a bit lighter than a lot of the kids. His Spanish was basic, he knew a few words here and there like “hola” or “adios” and maybe some numbers but that was it.

When he started preschool I was nervous for him knowing that most of the children didn’t speak English and he didn’t speak Spanish. One day I went out to observe him and guess what. He was happily playing with the other boys and girls. They played in their own language but with each other and it wasn’t a problem. It was a beautiful picture of how we should play as adults.

When our kids begin to start noticing and sharing the differences pay close attention to how they are expressing themselves. Are they using hurtful words? Negatively? In awe? Discuss with them their observations. This would be a good time to share a very practical lesson on diversity.

We are ALL the same on the inside

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Stepfamily Success

stepfamily success - 2houses

All stepfamilies come with challenges – the combining of different households and family cultures, the weekend visitations, the dealing with exes, the confusion that the children feel in trying to make sense not only of the divorce, but now this new parent and stepbrothers and sisters that they didn’t ask for. The stress can take its toll. It comes as no surprise, perhaps, that the struggles between stepparents and stepchildren are one of the primary causes of second divorces. The move from divorce to singlehood to stepfamily certainly requires time and patience, but like most life transitions also benefits from some awareness and skill. Here are the most common mistakes you want to avoid:

Disciplining too soon

One of the big, yet easy, mistakes that a lot of new stepparents make is stepping in a disciplinarian too soon. While the intentions may be good, the kids are likely to show resentment, rather than respect – the proverbial “You’re not my father!”

This is particularly true for teens who are likely to see the stepparent as nothing more than another authority telling him what to do. The antidote to a child or teen’s resistance is a supportive relationship. Hold back and develop a connection before taking any disciplinarian role. If your partner needs support, be the sideline coach or sounding board, but let him or her take the lead. Once a strong trusting relationship is established, gradually step up the discipline.

Nurture first, discipline second.

Failing to develop individual relationships.

Each child in a family will have a different response to a stepparent – one child quickly warming up, while another remains aloof. Children who are particularly close to the other natural parent may hold back, believing that they become close to the stepparent they are in some way being disloyal.

The way around this emotional quagmire is remaining patient while at the same time initiating one-on-one activities. Choose places and activities – movies, picking up a pizza, playing cards or legos – that offer comfortable distractions to break any awkwardness, yet allow you to step out of your “parent” role, and give you both an opportunity to engage and enjoy each other’s company. Whenever the child talks, be quiet and listen. If the mood seems right throw out quick, one-liner questions – “It seems like you are not excited about coming here some weekends. How come? Is it hard to move between two houses?” – and see what happens next.

What’s likely to happen next is not much – a “It’s okay” or grunt, though you might be surprised. Whether the child or teen talks about themselves or not is less important than your showing an interest in his world, and by casually bringing up topics letting him know what type of things can be talked about.

Build your stepfamily one relationship at a time.

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From Robert Taibbi, L.C.S.W., for

Photo by John Edwards 2008