Kids, adults working together can spell love

Two local boys learned how to make apple swans on YouTube and added them to a party fruit plate.

How do You Spell LOVE? T.I.M.E.

When your kids were little, did you do fun crafts with them around holidays? (Or nieces, nephews or neighbors’ children?) I hesitated writing about this because I was afraid readers would yawn and say they aren’t interested in any of this stuff.

Popsicle stick crafts seemed to be very popular 40 years ago when our kids were younger. I never really got into those! The other day two boys showed me what one had seen on You Tube so they tried it. Can you believe the picture? Swans made out of apples? What a beautiful finish to a huge fruit plate their mom brought to a Christmas party. Of course, parents’ supervision is critical. These boys are 10 and 12 and had never tried anything like that before.

I spoke briefly with three friends about their experiences with their children. All three mentioned that making things together helps build life skills.

Laura and I have been friends for more than 50 years. We worked with children on Sunday evenings at our church. We did some wild, wacky things and her two beautiful daughters still mention those times occasionally.

Those close times together even can get passed on to the grandkids. That’s how important those projects become. They can include food preparation or not.

Friend Jan is an early childhood special education teacher and one of the most creative people

I’ve even known. She reminded me that the more of our senses we use, the more we learn about the world around us (hearing, taste, touch, smell and vision). We have pride in completing something and say to ourselves, “I can do this!” Electronics aren’t necessarily required.

County Extension Agent Becky Reid always seems to have outstanding ideas. She’s a patient encourager to others. The time together with children, she says, develops communication. Those are valuable shared experiences. Years, even decades later, children will say, “Remember when we made... ?” They even learned through failures in projects (I’ll bet there are some GREAT stories out there!)

I’ve seen decorations to paint in several stores for $1 each — includes brush and paint. Make a small mobile together using stickers and pretty yarn. Kids can hang them in their room or knob on their dresser. Possibilities are endless.

I wish for your family a happy, healthy, creative New Year!


Cheri Baer of  Winfield writes an occasional column for the  CourierTraveler.

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