My strategy? I try to keep them busy. We've been doing a lot of crafts this year. Crafts were never my thing but the kids love it. I do too, mostly. When I became a Scout leader I dreaded craft time but I'm starting to embrace it. I hate the clean-up, but that's pretty easy to fix with good preplanning. Of course, we do our crafts in the kitchen and kitchen disasters seem to seek me out. Seriously, how much damage should one five year old be able to inflict on a house with 2 teaspoons of glitter ?!
The clean-up is no fun but the actual crafting usually is. It doesn't take much to get them started, especially the seven year olds. The five year old, clearly, needs a little more guidance. We put on some Christmas music and let their imaginations take over. They are very creative kids and are rightly proud of their final products.
Everyone has their own project list, and we have a couple of group projects to work on too. I'm sometimes sneaky with these. I try to find ways for them each to do a part of something that we can bring together in the end. Three entirely different kids usually come up with three completely different visions for anything we do. They are such individuals, with their own opinions and skill level, that group projects can turn into an argument, and end up with hurt feelings, in a split second.
The best group project this year has been reindeer puppets. Each kid made their own out of a paper bag, construction paper, felt and markers. We ended up with three very different creations: Gavin the Rednosed Reindeer, Rock Star the Reindeer, and Freckles the Reindeer Princess. They played with them for the longest time and then decided to have a puppet play. Queue the bickering. Enter the referee. Ultimately, we decided that each kid could write and direct their own play, that the other two would be happy actors in each play, and that Jonas could be a stuffed monster puppet instead of Rock Star the Reindeer. It was a blast! I didn't think of the video camera but I did remember to get a few pictures.
|The Two Reindeer and a Monster Puppet Play|
Starring "Gavin the Rednosed Reindeer", the Monster and "Freckles the Reindeer Princess"