Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Creative Family by Amanda Blake Soule

When you learn to awaken your family’s creativity, wonderful things will happen: you’ll make meaningful connections with your children in large and small ways; your children will more often engage in their own creative discoveries; and your family will embrace new ways to relax, play, and grow together. With just the simple tools around you—your imagination, basic art supplies, household objects, and natural materials—you can transform your family life, and have so much more fun!

Perfect for all families, the wide range of projects presented here offers ideas for imaginative play, art and crafts, nature explorations, and family celebrations. This book embraces a whole new way of living that will engage your children’s imagination, celebrate their achievements, and help you to express love and gratitude for each other as a family. From Product Description.

Visit the author's blog at

My Review: This book sat on the "New Non-fiction" table at my library and I so many times I wanted to borrow it. But my family is so young I always thought " I should wait." But oh it tempted me and finally I gave in.

Then I read the introduction and realized it was about 15x as "granola" and self-indulgent as I'm comfortable with in my life and I almost put it down. (True, I'd love to be more granola, it just sort of makes me feel claustrophobic in large doses.) BUT I kept reading and was hooked by the first chapter which shared the beautiful thought that preparing for creativity necessitates having and showing GRATITUDE.

As I read more I felt both inspired and calmed by the authors attitude and ideas. There were some that I won't do, one I've started already, and others that I'll write down and hopefully do later but in all likelihood forget. That is probably another reason I wanted to put the book down at the beginning, my definite feeling of inadequacy when comparing my aspirations with my accomplishments. But no no no - this book was INSPIRATIONING and here are the things I'd like to remember (yes, this is doubling as a personal reference list):

Inspiration bulletin board, folder, wall or string - a place to put various clippings of things that
creatively inspire you, and one for your child.
Have a single place for all the craft stuff.
Have some art supplies that belong to each individual (ie. a pencil roll)
Have simple, natural toys that grow with the child (grandparents, are you listening?)
Using found or re-purposed materials to add texture to your life.
The ubiquitous dress up box.
Family drawing time.
Wall of framed Childrens art.
Teaching hand crafts - embroidery, sewing, knitting.
Nature walks
Children's garden plots (small)
Nature table - collections of found objects related to the season
Art night with friends
Handmade holidays
Felt Crown for the birthday child.

You know, after trying to summarize the ideas I liked in the book I think I've decided I need to own this book in order to remember the smaller details of the ideas, instead of spending days copying down the ideas into my little notebook.

And speaking of that - if anyone has ideas for other books like this (ie. activities for children) I'd love to hear about them in the comments, or in a separate review.

My rating: 4 stars

If I could summarize in one sentence: If only I lived in Maine I'm sure I'd actually do the things suggested in this book.

1 comment:

MindySue said...

i both love and HATE books like this because they are both inspiring and full of guilt. I want to be the mom that does all this stuff. I'm not and its definitely something that I need to work on. This is one I'll keep my eye out for.


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