At its best, crafting provides an opportunity for families to slow down and spend time together. Tsia Carlson of SuperNaturale noticed two dominant models for child-parent craft projects; total collaboration demanding a child's attention and endurance, or parent set-up so that a child can work independently freeing up the parent for something else. In Side by Side, Carson advocates an approach that resembles parallel play. Families work side by side on complimentary activities in a process that allow the craft, the kid and the parent to come together.
The book is organized in three sections. Collaborators lists projects where parents and kids work together, Companions features projects where adults and children work in parallel on similar crafts at their respective levels, and Family Field Trips consists of projects that get the family outside together to make something in a new context.
Tsia Carson's book is thoughtfully written, beautifully photographed by Meredith Heuer, and filled with fresh projects that are the perfect antidote for Pinterest fatigue. Highlights include a Giant Newspaper Snowflake, Glitter Glue Monoprints, Drawing with Thread, and Seed Self-Portraits.
Side by Side: 20 Collaborative Projects for Crafting with Your Kids (2012) by Tsia Carson is published by Shambhala Publications. Find it at your local bookstore, through IndieBound or online.
(Images courtesy of Shambhala Publications)
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