Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Skill Sharing

One of the nice things grandmas do is share their skills with their grandchildren.
One grandma I know specializes in showing her grandchildren how to build birdhouses - complete with a lesson in power tool safety.
I tend to be more traditional, utilizing kitchen time to show my grandchildren how to make pantry salad or roll out pie crust. Those are some of my favorite times, and I think the kids enjoy them, too.
It's not just fun, though - it can be challenging to share your skills with your grandchildren. Here are some ways to meet the challenge:
* Set aside enough time for the activity. Making a pantry salad together involves inviting the child over for lunch, as well as time to actually make the salad. You don't want to rush through learning a new skill or enjoying the result of your labor.
* Choose something you enjoy doing, and are proficient at - or don't mind learning along with your grandchild. This past week-end our oldest granddaughter and I put our heads together to practice sewing up small sachets, even though I'm just a so-so seamstress (so to speak.) We both learned a lot and had fun, too.
* Any skill or hobby has elements you might share with your grandchild - sports, photography, scrapbooking, embroidery, nature walks/journaling - think about how to break down the activity into its parts, and show your grandchild how to manage one piece at a time til he is able to complete a project.
* Be sure you have everything you need on hand. There is nothing so discouraging as to get half-way into a project and realize you need another ingredient, piece of material, or supply.
* Affirm your grandchild's effort. Smile and laugh together. While acquiring a skill is part of the goal, so is the pleasure of one another's company.

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