Monday, June 25, 2012

The Creative Family

The real magic wand is the child's own mind-Jose Ortega y Gasset

I am a huge fan of Amanda Blake Soule.  I love all of her books.  I most recently wrote about The Rhythm of Family.  I am currently in love The Creative Family.  It is full of ideas and simple crafts to bring your family closer together.  With summer finally here, I like getting inspiration to make our time together even more special.  

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!
Amanda Soule has charmed many with her tales of creativity and parenting on her blog, SouleMama. Here she shares ideas and projects with the same warm tone and down-to-earth voice. Perfect for all families, the wide range of projects presented here offers ideas for imaginative play, art and crafts, nature explorations, and family celebrations.
It really is the little things that count so much.  Amanda Blake Soule talks about simplifying and streamlining play spaces.  Children love natural fibers and I find the less flashing lights and battery-operation, the more their creativity shines.  This simple kitchen was handmade by my father.  My daughter plays with it daily, and it is always the shining star for all of our playdates.  I think children really respond to how simple, yet fun it is.  They really become the masters of their own kitchen.
 There is even a chapter about wool felting.  We felt in our family.  Our most recent project was using the acorn caps we saw scattered in my mother's yard.  We made wool acorns and glued the caps on.  My family love them so much, they have asked to make them the fall centerpiece.

I love the chapter in The Creative Family about displaying children's art.  I am always saddened when I see a blank fridge in a parent's home.  Children love praise and from their simplistic art beginnings, to the more complex art they make as they grow; I feel it all deserves a proud display.  Amanda Blake Soule talks about saving your children's work in art boxes, and displaying it proudly on walls.  In our home, our kitchen, playroom and office looks like an art gallery.  My daughter loves to paint.  I transfer things out as they come and save the pieces that define her artistic growth.  While some may not think everything is frame-worthy, I truly believe it is about more than just the art.  
This little android looking person was made on my daughter's first day of Pre-K.  I loved it so much, i immediately framed it.  My husband and I love it so much.  My daughter really feels that love as she sees is daily, proudly displayed.  By the end of Pre-K, this android person grew and matured into a recent painting my daughter did of me.  This hangs proudly in our kitchen.  I love seeing the evolution and growth of her art.
 My next project from The Creative Family is the Bedtime bag.  You can store your little one's pajamas and some books to make nighttime even more special.  Embrace the time your have as a family!

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