Posts tagged siblings
Endless Summer Projects: Shoebox Frames
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I cannot believe it. Here we are at my last Endless Summer Projects! We've been planning these and posting them for so many weeks now, that I can't believe we're at the finish line already. And that feeling of quick endings is all around us as we squeeze the literal juice out of the remaining two weeks of summer.

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In our house, August brings the start of school preempted by one of our favorite (made up) holidays, Siblings Day! To foster great relationships and celebrate the special people we have right around us, our family indulges in a special dinner, a lasting craft, silly games, some storytelling of great memories, and silly pictures together.

My children are 8,6, and 3, and although rather close in age, their ability levels and interests can seem light years apart at times. Lots of "he's not old enough" and "she's too big" get thrown around in conversation. I wanted a way for everyone to see each other on a level playing field... So we spent some time going through baby pictures as a family. Each sibling heard stories of the other sister or brother and their habits as babies, the toys they loved, the ridiculous noises and first words they said.

And each one selected a baby photo of their brother and/or sister to hang in their rooms. Sometimes it's good to remember that your bossy older sister was once an adorable baby, too. And that annoying little brother, well, he was super huggable with those pudgy cheeks.

Once we had our photos selected and printed, we were ready to get to work.

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Wanna make some, too? Super simple supplies for this one: sturdy shoeboxes, quality paint, brushes, photographs, scissors, and washi tape

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My daughters picked the box lids, and my son wanted the box bottom, (and either side can turn out quite nicely)! Have children paint the boxes, likey 2-3 coats, depending on the coverage.

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Once the box lid is completely covered in paint, assist your children in trimming the baby photos to all the same size. For the size boxes we had, I trimmed the photos to 3" x 3".

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Line up photographs on the long flat surface of the box or box lid, and carefully adhere to the box with washi tape. I also glued the photos onto the boxes to insure that the washi tape would have some assistance in keeping the pictures in place.

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Finished boxes make cute photo bricks on dresser and shelves.

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Add fun washi tape patterns to add some visual interest to your frame.

And don't forget to find a spot on the wall to show off your new creation.

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Mommy and Daddy School: Sibling Traditions

So it started last year, around this time. Everyone in the house was ready for the endless days of summer to come to a quick close. Although story book in concept, the togetherness of all three kiddos home every day, particularly my daughters (then 4 and 6), had brought out some sharp edges and frayed nerves.

Insert flabbergasted momma.

In an effort to help my daughters see the goodness that could/should/must (?) come from this sacred childhood time together, we created Sisters Day. Our wedding anniversary is August 17, and our children enjoyed seeing the attention (AKA presents) that came with this special holiday. Not coincidentally, Sisters Day is August 18.

Philosophically, I want my children to have many wonderful memories of each other. Practically, I want a peaceful, happy home. And furthermore, who can feud when they're being celebrated?

This is our second year of celebration, and I'm not joking when I say that the girls have been asking about it all year (which also led us to create Sibling Day and now Brother's Day, too). We like celebrating.

KEY COMPONENTS TO EVERY SISTERS DAY:

1. Listen to each other's ideas and agree on great things to do.

Easier said than done at this age (or any, I suppose). We asked both girls to list activities they thought would be fun to do, and we narrowed it down to 2-3 that would be enjoyed by both.

M, the 7-year old, really wanted to make friendship bracelets, but C, talented though she is, at 5 does not have the fine motor skills down to weave and knot. So, that activity was axed.

C, a lover of all things princess, really wanted to watch Disney princess movies. At 7, M is kind of "too big" for these...or so she claims.

2. Everything is done together.

If we're baking cookies, both sisters are involved in the mixing, scooping, intense dough eating, and joy of the entire experience. The giggling and spills are all a part of the memory.

3. Make some only-for-this-occasion moments.

It's the idea of the special plate used only for certain holidays. Our backyard playset has a table and two benches built in, and once a year we all enjoy dinner out there together. What's the occasion? Sisters Day.

Reserving little treats like this for such a day has helped build upon the gift that having a sister truly is.

4. Catalog this for all eternity.

I'm a little snap happy on any day, but on particular events like this, I think it's so important to photograph the time together. I have the girls pose for a few sister shots, and I make sure to get candids of them together, too. I hope this tradition lasts the rest of their lives, and I think it will be amazing to look back on all of these sister celebrations through the years.

This year our Sisters Day included a trip to the zoo, the creation of a long-awaited (as seen on TV, thank you so much) Wuggle Pets, dinner out on our playset, watching Mirror, Mirror with hot, buttered popcorn in hand, and a sleepover in our tent (set up in our downstairs playroom).

I know that these days will be just a few of the millions of memories that my daughters have of childhood and sisterhood. I want them to have so many unplanned, silly snapshots of life, but I think it's okay that some of the good ones had a little planning involved...

With a little Happy Sisters Day banner stretched across them.

XOXO, MJ