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The Creative Family: How to Encourage Imagination and Nurture Family Connections Paperback – April 1, 2008
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“Give your family an injection of creativity with this inspirational book.”—Kindred Magazine
“The Creative Family will make life with your children rich, full, imaginative, and fun beyond measure. This book is a recipe for joyful parenting and a joyful life. It's a gift for both your children and yourself. I loved it!”—Zoe Weil, President, Institute for Humane Education and author of Above All, Be Kind: Raising a Humane Child in Challenging Times
“Amanda Soule has created a wonderful guide that nourishes the wellspring of creativity already inherent in the family dynamic. She encourages discovery, ingenuity, sharing, and celebration in a way that helps each family member grow, while simultaneously bringing the whole family closer together. A truly meaningful book for and about that which we hold dearest.”—Jeffrey Yamaguchi, author of 52 Projects: Random Acts of Everday Creativity
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Top Customer Reviews
I was also disappointed with the craft projects. Aside from the fact that many were the same projects found all over the internet and in many other craft books, I found that most of them were projects geared towards adults with small touches added by children. I was expecting more projects actually for children, or where children played a much bigger role.
I think this would be a perfect book for someone who is new to Waldorf and Montessori philosophy and was looking for ways to incorporate these philosophies into their family life, or for someone who is looking for a simple, pleasant read paired with beautiful pictures. If you've been involved in simple family living for quite some time and are looking for something new, I would look elsewhere.
The book is divided into four sections, each with three chapters:
Part One: Gathering
1. Preparing Your Creative Mind
2. Gathering Materials
3. Being Resourceful
Part Two: Playing
4. Encouraging Imagination
5. Supporting Your Young Artist
6. Sharing the Tradition of Handmade
Part Three: Living
7. Exploring Through Nature
8. Capturing Moments
9. Everyday Rituals
Part Four: Connecting
10. Celebrating Your Family
11. Handmade Holidays
12. Creative Connections
At the end of the book, a six-page resource guide lists other books and websites on the same topics.
Even though my daughter is 14, we both found this book worthwhile. For example, we set up a Nature Table. Before, all the tiny miracles we brought home in our pockets ended up in the trash. Now we have a spot. At the moment it has a handful of seashells, three skate egg cases, some hot pink sea whips, an orange sponge and a sparkly rock she snared last week on a trip with her dad out to the Grand Canyon.
Most of the ideas in this book were not new to me. In fact, much of it could be written about my actual family life. If you are familiar with the Waldorf tradition, and books such as "You are your child's first teacher", "The Children's Year" and "All Year Round", "Heaven on Earth", or some of the other little "Waldorfy" craft books out there, then many of the ideas in "The Creative Family" will not be new to you, either.
But I don't think that "being new" is the most important thing about this book. I think that it is really fantastic that Amanda Soule has taken many of these tried-and-true (perhaps less well-known/mainstream) ideas about parenting, family life, and creativity, and blended them together into one simple, easy to read, compact and easy to reach for, updated resource.
The photography is really beautiful, and the projects are all simple enough to be done by a pre-schooler (some with more help than others).
This is more than a project book, however (in fact, I would not even describe it as being a project book). It is more about a way of life -- taking a step back, learning that a "no" really can be a "yes," and so on. Her thoughts about toys were excellent -- again, exactly what our family has already practiced since our first child was quite small -- but, in observing so many of my friends with young children, ideas that would help many an overwhelmed family learn to say "no" to too much stuff.
I was most inspired by her tips on art supplies -- a good comprehensive list of supplies, along with tips on their storage.Read more ›
First, this is a beautiful book with lots of inspiring photos of the author and her children being happy together, and of pleasant spaces in and around the author's home. The projects are simple and, as other reviewers have noted, nothing that you couldn't find in other craft books, blogs, and magazines. However, they provide a good selection of techniques and media, and they are well-presented.
This would make a great book for a new parent looking for ways to nourish her own and her child's creative spirit. I would give it to moms who already had a creative mindset but I think it could also make a good gift for a parent who isn't especially crafty, because there are plenty of ideas for simply providing open-ended materials for kids (and adults) to play around with. I think it would also make good reading for families who've lost touch with their creative selves or with each other.
I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone who already has a creative, nurturing family life or who already 'makes stuff' with her kids. There really isn't anything new here for such readers. Even if you're an avid bibliophile like me, I would hold off on this one in preference for something with more projects or more in-depth discussions of how to nurture children.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love this book. We've done many of these projects! I love having a "seasonal tree" which is a vase full of branches from our backyard, and some rocks in the bottom from... Read morePublished 24 days ago by Michelle
I love and value hand made. It was nice to have something that was "store bought" that supported that.Published 10 months ago by Honey of Honey's Life
I enjoy Amanda Soule's blog and the other books, but I was really disappointed with this. It has a judgmental and elitist tone that I think she has now outgrown with age and... Read morePublished 20 months ago by misssarah
I do quite a bit of creative play and learning with my daughter and this book has been a good resource for our family.Published on December 26, 2013 by Anonymous
I've had this book for a number of years now and I always return to it when I need some crafty inspiration. A definite keeper!Published on October 8, 2013 by Lou24
I love this book! It's exactly what I hoped it would be. It's thoughtful, inspiring, and offers easy to follow directions for crafts. Read morePublished on January 19, 2013 by chellethomas
This book is very inspirational and encouraging to any family looking to spend quality, meaningful time together while learning to be more creative and hands-on.Published on December 10, 2012 by abigail bolin
But then i read it and was so pleased with my purchase. I love the Soulemama blog and this book just expands on how she keeps her life so filled and yet so simple. Read morePublished on December 8, 2012 by Courtney Harrison