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The Creative Family

May 26, 2010

The girls’ mom has been lending me books. Mostly about education but she lent me one the other day called The Creative Family by Amanda Blake Soule.

A description from her website:

“Between work and school, music lessons, and sports practice, there is less and less time to connect as a family. Those few moments together are often spent making meals, doing homework, or watching TV. In this inspiring book, Amanda Soule, a young mother of three, presents simple ways to use arts and crafts and other forms of creativity to deepen family connections.

For parents of all backgrounds, The Creative Family offers unique creative activities for the whole family. The range of projects includes: imaginative play such as dress-up, home theater, and parlor games; arts and crafts such as family drawing time and knitting with children; nature explorations such as creating garden journals and using natural toys; and family celebrations that include making music and displaying children’s art. These fun and engaging alternatives to television, video games, and the computer are meant to captivate children’s imaginations, celebrate their achievements, and express love and gratitude as a family.”
I am utterly enthralled with this book.  It has beautiful pictures, flowing words and wonderful ways to incorporate creativity into our family (isn’t that the point?).  And it captured me from the beginning. You see, as I have always said I am not crafty. I feel crafty and artistic but I am not.  Why? Because I don’t have a thing. You know, something I do well. I have a sewing machine.  I made a quilt and it turned out rather good – if you like a rag quilt that you can’t really tell if someone has straggly threads hanging off of.  I made Keith a scrapbook.  It’s a creative enough idea – but it really isn’t put together all that well.  I can’t draw, paint or do pottery.

So I am reading this book and this paragraph jumps out at me that basically says: Maybe you aren’t creative or maybe you haven’t found your creative niche yet. Just think of being creative as a job responsibility that comes with being a parent.  You need to be creative with your kids.   They need to find their creativity and you need to lead them on their journey. So go back through your memories and think of stuff that made you happy when you were a kid: pottery, knitting, guitar, woodworking, sewing. It doesn’t matter.

Then she says to go through the book, craft by craft and let your kids teach you how to do the stuff.  Obviously, they aren’t going to know how to do everything but let them try!  Pick out a pair of clothes to be your messy clothes.  Set a timer for an hour (adults seem to have a need to know that a project is going to end at a certain time) and get to it.  Start dreaming and creating.

Projects I have seen as I skimmed the book:

Scan in your children’s drawings and make your own thank you cards
Make felt blocks (for younger children, obviously  – but I am SO doing this for my nephew!)
Dyeing clothes with things found in nature
Creating a play together
Freezer-Paper Stenciling
Embroidery with children’s artwork
Finger Knitting
Making a “Nature Table”
Photography
Scrapbooking
Create Placemats
Create “Bedtime Bags” – contains pjs and favorite nighttime book, stuffed animal, water bottle and anything else needed for nighttime)
Henna Tattoos
Make a Birthday Crown to be worn every year
Participate in Family Drawing Time

So many ideas!!!!!  I am ready for summer to be here – with schooling (we are doing a loose year round schooling experiment) and The Creative Family I think it’s going to be a great three months!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Katrina permalink
    May 26, 2010 2:49 pm

    I’m not crafty AT ALL but one thing I really liked doing as a kid was making potholders on those little plastic looms. lol Target has them for really cheap too-found them when I was out shopping for Zaiden’s bday present last weekend. And they last FOREVER. I still use some that I made when I was 7 or 8.

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