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The Creative Family: How to Encourage Imagination and Nurture Family Connections Paperback – April 1, 2008


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The Creative Family: How to Encourage Imagination and Nurture Family Connections + The Rhythm of Family: Discovering a Sense of Wonder through the Seasons + Handmade Home: Simple Ways to Repurpose Old Materials into New Family Treasures
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Roost Books (April 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590304713
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590304716
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,431 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Embraces a new way of living that will engage your children’s imaginations, celebrate their achievements, and help you to express love and gratitude for each other as a family.”—Living Crafts Magazine


“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

About the Author

Amanda Blake Soule is the creator of the popular blog www.SouleMama.com. Amanda spends her days with her four young children—making things, thrifting, exploring and being inspired by their coastal Maine surroundings. Learn more about her and find her blog at www.amandasoule.com.

More About the Author

Amanda Blake Soule is the creator of the popular blog www.SouleMama.com, where she writes about her adventures in craft and creativity, modern homemaking, and mindful parenting.

Amanda lives in Western Maine with her husband (and fellow author) Stephen, and their five children. On their family farm and in their days, they strive to live simply, close to the earth and to each other.

Learn more about her and find her blog at www.amandasoule.com.


Customer Reviews

I highly recommend this book for all families.
Caren S. Knox-Hundley
As I read this book (in two days, and now I'm starting over again), I just kept thinking, "Wow."
Lori Ann
It is full of so many wonderful, simple ideas for children and families.
E. Emmet

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

81 of 81 people found the following review helpful By N. C. on November 14, 2008
Format: Paperback
I thought this was a sweet book, and a pleasant read. Amanda Soule is a wonderful writer. I was a little disappointed that there were no new ideas presented here though. I felt like I was reading the same Waldorf family book I've read several times before. People say "everything has been done before", but I feel that authors can still incorporate new ideas or put their own twist on things. I did not see this here.

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.
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76 of 81 people found the following review helpful By Julie Neal VINE VOICE on April 23, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
You may think this is an arts and crafts book. But really, it's a parenting guide. Though it's filled with things you can do with your children, it also brings out the kid in you, and in the process helps you become a better mom or dad. The activities involve getting dirty with your kids, going outside and finding things like cool leaves and bugs, or drawing with crayons. Most are best suited for families with preschool- through elementary-aged kids.

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.
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117 of 128 people found the following review helpful By MamaG on April 5, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"The Creative Family" is really, very simply, a sweet, gentle, and dear book on family traditions and togetherness.

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.
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50 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Megan on September 24, 2009
Format: Paperback
I waited over a year before reviewing this book because I wanted to give it a 5-star review. I love the idea behind the book, and I enjoy the author's blog a great deal. When I couldn't rate the book as highly as I wanted to, I decided not to review at all. However, I always look at the 1,2, and 3 star reviews before selecting a book because they give usually give the most useful information, so I'm going to point out where I think the book shines and where I think it falls short.

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.
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