Whether you’re stuck at home with a blended family or a first family – times like these can become trials of patience. Tempers can get short and attention can wan. For blended families finding ways to make home feel “normal” is difficult, especially in times of transition when things are anything but normal. One of the easiest ways to bond with your blended family is to share traditions from your own childhood. This accomplishes a few things:
- It fills the uncomfortable silence with non-judgmental information.
- It helps your blended family get to know about a different part of you.
- Fond memories bring a lightness to the heart and can have a calming and positive affect on the autonomic system (making you, one of the adults, better able to model how to tolerate transitional situations).
- Lastly, if you can recreate the tradition, it gives everyone something to do and adds to making a positive new memory. Sharing happy or fun memories bond people together.
A tradition I have shared with my blended family is making hollowed out Easter eggs as Easterly keepsakes.
Items you’ll need:
1 dozen white eggs
1 large safety pin
1 container to catch egg whites/yolks
1 egg dying kit
Crayons to write names on eggs (if desired)
Assorted arts and crafts items: children’s catalogs, magazines with cute animals pictures, gem stones, thin ribbons, stickers or any other desired items for decorating.
- hot glue gun for attaching ribbons,
- regular glue for attaching magazine cut outs to the eggs
- School glue to mix with a bit of water to brush over adornments
- Modge podge to spray on eggs when they’re finished.
Step 1 – Hollowing out eggs
Using the large safety pin, poke a hole in the bottom of the egg (largest end). Keep poking around the edge of the first pin-prick to eventually create a hole.
- flip the egg over
- Using the same technique, poke a hole in the top of the egg that’s a bit smaller than the hole in the bottom.
- Holding the egg over the container, gently blow into the egg and push the whites and yolk out through then bottom.
- Repeat for all 12 eggs.
Step 2 – Dying and decorating
- I use egg dying kits from the store
- Dye eggs according to package instructions
- If you want to put a name on the egg shell use a white crayon to write the name and then place the egg shell in the dye. You can also write the name on afterward in a darker color crayon.
- While eggs are drying sort through magazines, or children’s catalogs for cute animals, flowers, patterns of color: anything will work
- Once eggs are dry begin gluing items to the eggs.
- I used a combination of stick glue on the cutouts before putting them on the egg, and a sponge paintbrush to dab a mix of glue and water onto the egg to seal all the edges down after the cutouts are applied.
- For larger items like ribbon, cord, gemstones or heavier papers, I used a hot glue gun to attach adornments.
Then dye eggs according to the package instructions and let eggs air dry after dying. Once they’re dry, start decorating with your imagination. The sky’s the limit!
Being part of a blended family is challenging enough to start with, let alone being regulated to shelter-in-place with kids that may or may not like you or may be grieving the loss of seeing one parent, their friends, and life as we all knew it.
Use the time to try to bond through sharing traditions, asking about music your stepkids are interested in (without judgement) and ask what they like about the music. Or ask about what books they’re reading for school – generally, being interested in someone else’s interests help them to be interested in you and sharing activities that can be fun also helps pass the time and make bonding memories.