Book Review: The Creative Family by Amanda Blake Soule

I almost pried this book out of a friend’s hand at a recent school board meeting.  One look and I knew I had to read it.  I’m always looking for ways to immerse our family in the spirit of creativity.  As I am sure many of you can relate to, at the end of a long work day, I simply don’t feel all that creative.  I need some inspiration.  Don’t you?

In steps Amanda Blake Soule, author of The Creative Family:  How to Encourage Imagination and Nurture Family Connections.  This book is written with care and grace to help develop more creativity within your family.  It is filled with sweet ideas for how to engage and pursue crafts and art projects with natural and non-toxic materials. The book also describes how to infuse creativity in all your family does.

Take this incredible idea.  The Joy Jar.  A simple, sweet and beautiful gift idea.  It boils down to this (as I paraphrase from the book).  Think of someone you want to honor, or gift.  Then have your kids select a jar (a Ball jar works well), and have them decorate it with that person in mind.  Fill it with messages, on little strips of paper, about what gives you joy about that person.  The whole family can participate.  We made these for the grandparents.  I wrote down quotes from my 3 and 5 year olds, and a few myself, and dropped them in the jars.  We attached fabric to the top of the jar, and my oldest wrote their names on the jars.  Check it out above.  Sweetness such as, “I love the way my Nana smiles every time she sees me” and “I love when my Mimi dances with stuffed animals on her head.” made it in these jars.  The grandparents LOVED them.

I was so inspired by the book, and took several ideas from it to use immediately. I have to give it back to the library, but will need to buy my own copy to return to.  The philosophy, the artistic guidance, and the many, many sweet project ideas are so worth owning this book.  I’ve barely scratched the surface.

Thanks to Amanda Blake Soule for writing this book, to remind us to slow down, and cultivate creativity among ourselves, and with our children.

4 Responses to Book Review: The Creative Family by Amanda Blake Soule

  1. Aimee January 3, 2011 at 12:02 am #

    Thank you! Single mom has been needing some inspiration in the parenting department lately 🙂

  2. Shannon January 3, 2011 at 9:30 am #

    I will put this on my list to check out from the library!

  3. kristen Conn January 4, 2011 at 4:35 pm #

    I have this book at home and LOVE it! We’ve done many projects out of it so far. I wanted to make the joy jars for christmas gifts this year, but we never quite fit in. Maybe next year!

  4. Cindy@ One Part Sunshine January 5, 2011 at 12:16 am #

    I love this book too! One of my favorite ideas is the art-on-the-go bag. My son loves to draw and loves nature, so I can’t wait to bring an art bag with us on our outings so he can draw whenever and wherever he wants. I especially like the idea of including nature field guides in the bag to help identify the bugs, plants and animals that we see.

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