When many of us count our blessings, we often start with our own families. After all, those in our immediate and extended family are usually the people we are with the most, through small moments and larger triumphs, and those who mean the most to us. Celebrating family with fun crafts allows us to find expression for our gratitude and can allow family members to feel uniquely appreciated. These crafts can also be a way to pass on family lore, while providing children with a fuller sense of who they are and their place in their family and in the global community.
Create an Appreciation “Recipe” for a Mom or Another Special Person
I got this lovely idea from my Anna’s 4th grade teacher, D. J. Mitchell. It’s very easy and fun to do, and it conveys a special relationship and feelings that may be otherwise hard to articulate. Help your child create a recipe for a “marvelous mom” or a “delightful dad” or a “fabulous friend” or any other combination using an adjective and the person’s name or role.
• Piece of construction paper or poster board
• Markers and crayons or colored pencils
Think about the attributes of the recipient that make him or her special.
Write a heading on the paper: Recipe for a (fabulous friend or other).
Using a ruler, draw six or more lines on which to write your various ingredients.
Write the “ingredients” for the person, in recipe terms, such as “6 cups kindness,” “5 tablespoons love,” or whatever else you can think of.
Leave space at the bottom to write out your instructions, also using recipe terms, like mix, add, fold, blend, and so on.
Decorate the rest of the paper, as desired.
Here is Anna’s “recipe”:
Make a Personal or Family Crest or Coat of Arms
Since the seventh century in Japan and the twelfth century in Europe, families, individuals, countries, states, schools, knights, clergy, and others have used decorative and distinctive coats of arms, or family crests, to identify themselves or their clans. It’s a wonderful tradition that can be adapted in a lighthearted way to proclaim or discover individual or family identities and interests.
• Colored pencils, crayons, markers, paints, or other drawing
• Ribbons, scrap paper and fabric, glitter, and other decorative
items, as desired
• School or craft glue
• Frame, optional
Draw the outline of a shield shape, which resembles a pointed shovel.
Draw lines inside of the shield to divide it into various regions. It is common for crests to have 4-6 sections. You may want to give each family member a section.
Inside each section, draw or write the name of one or more things that you enjoy doing or that you like about yourself or your family. If you’d like, leave a space inside the crest, or below it, to write the family name.
Color and decorate the items and the background of the crest. Most crests are elaborate, with lots of decorative items and flourishes.
Frame or display your unique crest.
If you’d like, try this coat of arms template.
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