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Child of Wonder: Nurturing Creative and Naturally Curious Children (Wonder Collection) Paperback – April 1, 2008

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Editorial Reviews


"This delightful and useful book is a joyous antidote to the canned electronic amusements which stifle our kids' creative juices. Parents and teachers who explore its wealth of ideas will benefit themselves, their children, and the future potential of our society." --Jane M. Healy, Ph.D., Educational psychologist and author of Your Child's Growing Mind: Brain Development and Learning from Birth to Adolescence

"When it comes to nurturing creativity in children, this book has it all: encouragement and inspiration, quick tips and ideas, and detailed instructions for parents who think they are creatively challenged. And the best news is that the steps that help children develop creatively are exactly the same steps that help them develop cognitively and emotionally." --Lawrence J. Cohen, Ph.D., author of Playful Parenting

"Child of Wonder is the operation manual that every child wishes her parents would read. And parents will be glad they did, for here they will find a wealth of ideas for turning every day materials and experiences into the extraordinary, sparked by the child's imagination." --Hilary Flower, author of Adventures in Gentle Discipline, La Leche League International

About the Author

Ginger Carlson, M.A., Education consultant, adjunct faculty at the University of Oregon, speaker, parenting writer, and lifelong learner, shares her expertise and enthusiasm. She has taught in public and private schools in the United States and in International and Embassy schools abroad. She leads workshops in creativity building and writes the column The Wondershop: Building Creative Kids for regional parenting magazines.

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Product Details

  • Series: Wonder Collection
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Common Ground Press; 1st edition (April 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0979702704
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979702709
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,033,265 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ginger Carlson has over twenty years experience working with schools, families, and educational organizations around the world. Ginger has written and presented widely on the topics of Instructional Technology and Creativity and how to uniquely nurture them in our homes and schools.

She is the author of Child of Wonder: Nurturing Creative and Naturally Curious Children and the subsequent book in the series Just Add Wonder: Cooking Activities to Nurture and Nourish the Creative Child, as well as dozens of others articles in the areas of creativity, play, learning, education, parenting, and child care.

Ms. Carlson holds a Masters of Arts in Education and Instructional Technology from Pepperdine University and is a graduate of the Education Administration and Supervision program at Johns Hopkins University. Having worked in outreach and education in 5 different countries around the world, while serving as the CCO of IFPL, Ms. Carlson is also a member of the administrative team at the American Community School of Athens in Athens, Greece.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Cathe VINE VOICE on June 5, 2008
Format: Paperback
In a society where creativity and imagination seem to be undervalued and almost suppressed, Ginger Carlson's book "Child of Wonder" comes as a breath of fresh air and really an essential for the parent or teacher who wants to nurture the natural curiosity of their children. Carlson, an educational consultant, shares her unique way of integrating critical thinking, problem solving, and creativity into children's daily tasks and personal interests.

"Child of Wonder" is designed to help you nurture creative, confident thinkers. Carlson explains the characteristics of creativity and how to encourage them in your home - both with practical ways to set up your environment, as well as providing hundreds of ideas, techniques, recipes, and instructions for creativity building activities. Carlson also shows you how to help your child develop critical thinking and problem solving skills, as well as helps you to determine his/her learning style and unique way of self-expression.

Though the book seems somewhat geared to parents of preschool age children, I found plenty of inspiration and ideas that I can use with my seven- and nine-year-old daughters. For example, I have a lot of craft supplies that I've accumulated from yard sales, stores, recycled objects, etc. but they were all kind of mixed together and piled on top of each other. After reading the chapter "Setting Up and Organizing the Creative Environment," I cleaned out and reorganized our `craft closet.' Since then, my daughters are much more independent and spontaneous about making a painting or doing elaborate craft projects, then they were when I had to locate supplies for them.

I especially loved the chapter "Art Smart" where Ginger talks about "developing creativity through visual arts.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Maryanne Raphael on March 25, 2008
Format: Paperback
As an elementary teacher, Author Ginger Carlson's goal was to create an environment that honored her students and developed their thinking and self expression. With the Child of Wonder book and newsletters she helps parents do this for their children. For her, nurturing children to be discovering, creating and wondering is a labor of love, her way of life.

With an M.A. in education, Carlson has taught in public and private schools in the United States and internationally. She is an educational consultant guiding parents and children who have given up on traditional education. The book can be used to design creative curriculum and to provide projects to nurture a child's inherent interests.

Carlson believes children are naturally creative and her book shows how they need freedom to play, experiment, question, take risks and apply their learning to their world. Using a poem, Flowers are Red; Leaves are green, Carlson illustrates how an insensitive teacher can kill creativity in a child who sees multi-colored flowers.

She feels parents have the biggest impact on children's love of learning and their ability to express themselves. She reminds them that children learn what they live (quoting Dorothy Law Nolte) and deserve to be treated with patience, confidence, faith, justice, appreciation and love. Parents provide resources and encourage imagination when their children are not tied down by too many rules. She reminds us that setting an example is the only way to teach.

Carlson shows us how to live a life of wonder with our children, how busy adults with little time can find teachable moments, and how our questions can often teach more than our answers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kara M. Spencer on August 22, 2008
Format: Paperback
If you are interested in encouraging your child's artistic expression, imagination, and creative intelligence, than Child of Wonder: Nurturing Creative and Naturally Curious Children by Ginger Carlson is the book for you. An experiences educator and mother, Ginger peppers her book with inspirational quotes from creative thinkers, artists, and musicians throughout her book, providing parents with hundreds of practical and creative ideas for projects and exploration, and seeds for thought.

As a mother myself, I'm always trying to provide creative opportunities for my son to explore with art, paint, nature, theater, paper, and more. However, it can be a challenge, especially with work, obligations, and schedules. That's why I'm grateful for Carlson's book, which takes the effort out of planning for those wonderful magical creative moments of childhood.

Child of Wonders offer numerous suggestions for parents to create creative zones around the house, that are kid accessible, so that creativity and exploration can happen on the go, in every room or nook of your house. She offers suggestions for musical play, messy play, cooking experiments, rainy day fun, and outdoor exploration.

This book will be helpful to parents of children both young and school-aged. Whether you have kids at home, are looking for weekend fun ideas, summer vacation activities, or homeschool resource book - Child of Wonder will delight.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By JNelle Holland on August 1, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is so inspiring to parents, grandparents and teachers, because it's filled with lessons on how to create inspiring minds in our young children. With numerous examples of questions that get kids thinking, and creative projects (like family think tanks) and ways to make learning like play for both the adult and the child. I feel like I'm a child again, as I read this book, learning and being excited by learning. Thank you, Ginger, for sharing your wealth of knowledge and experience in new ways of thinking–– for young minds (and old ones too!)
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