Early Book Review: Side by Side by Tsia Carson

Side by Side: 20 Collaborative Projects for Crafting with Your Kids by Tsia Carson is scheduled for release on August 14 2012.  This book goes into the joys of crafting side by side with your child or children. It includes twenty projects made with a wide variety of items. Some of the projects offer things to work on together in a partnership, while others offer related projects that allow you to be there to help as needed but still have your own project to complete. Giant snowflakes, embroidery on leaves, glitter glue, and a living teepee are just a few of the included ideas. encouragement to enjoy the process and let the children led the craft are some of the more important parts of the book, and resonated the most with this mom that often gets discouraged at the thought of cleaning up. This has given me the ideas and encouragement I needed to let the crafts come out more often.

Side by Side is a great resource for those already interested in craft project, but needing some ideas and encouragement to fully include their children and introduce the love of creating with the next generation. Although, those that do not already know how to embroider or create potato stamps are not left in the dust. There is a thorough section of technical notes with detailed instructions explain each step very well. Pictures of the author and family creating their own crafts are peppered through the book, making me eager to try a few in my home. While my kids are still a little young for some of the crafts, this book offers mew some great ideas to get started with, and to plan for in the future since my little ones are already fascinated with my crochet and other projects. The only thing that caused me a little giggle with the book, is the font used. It is very similar to the craft books that I have found from the sixties and seventies. This has no effect on the interest of value on the book, but was something that briefly distracted me. It might even have been on purpose, because in the introduction the author mentioned that crafting she had done as a child.

I recommend Side by Side to parents, grandparents, and anyone that spends time with children. Even if it does not inspire you to jump into the crafts included, it will encourage the exploration of crafting with children, and letting them lead the way. Some of my fondest memories of childhood include crafts, and some of my favorite moments today include working with my hands. This book, and its projects, have reminded me of that and encouraged me to make sure that my children are able to form their own memories of creating and nature.
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