I was excited to receive an advance copy of Amanda Soule's new book. The Creative Family is her sweetly inspiring collection of projects, ideas and thoughts on family life at home. Home with little ones- precious, curious children just beginning their own creative adventures. Like her blog, the book is a clever handbook of the ways that a family can simply play and learn together, enriching each other's creativity with imagination and invention.
I am loving this little book- small enough that it sits perfectly on top of the stack here. It is beautifully designed and easy to dip into, though harder to put down. Most of all, I love the way that Amanda's parenting style fills their lives with creative discovery. Children are natural teachers too, their gentle ways instilling respect and affection for siblings, a calmer pace for the household. I like the accessible crafts that the family has created- sewn, built, mixed from simple materials and resources. Handmade knitting needles (how cool!), art-on-the-go bags, a banging wall from kitchen pots and pans. Rituals, traditions, parlor games, all within budget, without commercially marketed products. Fabulous, thrifty, home-made fun.
I confess that it happily reminds me of this, my own record of those extraordinary days. I do believe that parenting is the best gift life has to offer, even though it's a supreme challenge, start to finish. You know how you hear people jokingly say over the heads of their children, Where's the owner's manual? I think it's here, in the pages of thoughtful books like Amanda's. This wonderful book reminds us that there is no better, or more natural way to nurture our children- and ourselves- than with our own enthusiasm, patience, care and creativity.
Now I'm going to make myself a banging wall. Everyone should have one of those!