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The Creative Family: How to Encourage…
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The Creative Family: How to Encourage Imagination and Nurture Family…

by Amanda Blake Soule

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I'm re-reading this for inspiration. ( )
  beckydj | Mar 31, 2013 |
The Creative Family: How To Encourage Imagination and Nurture Family Connections by Amanda Blake Soule. Library section 8 A: Life Skills, Family Activities. Age: adult. Gosh, but I wish I’d had this book as a young parent. It’s not just a book of craft projects; it is a holistic plan – a blueprint, an ethos -- of how to live a creative life as a family unit. Wow. This lady has done some thinking about creativity, let me tell you, and I am an artist and former art teacher, so you’d think I’d know all this. Hah! She floored me with her very basic ideas about nurturing imagination and creative living – how creativity is born out of gratitude for the world we live in, and how it can grow and be sustained.
I did many things with my children either because they were just plain fun or because my Mom had done them with us when I was a child. But this book shows how endless creativity lies at the center of every mindful and loving family, and that with basic household items and a bit of patience and support, family imagination and creativity can flower and create meaningful experiences shared between all family members. It can become a way of life. That’s remarkable. She divides this book into four areas of focus: the self – the discovery and continuance of your own creative passions and interests; the child – the development and nurturing of your child’s growing, creative spirit; the family – the deepening of parent-child bonds through the acts of creating together; and the community – the ways in which we can connect with others around us, both locally and globally, through creative living.
She stresses the fact that as parents we can model creativity for our children. For example, my mother is a quiltmaker. For many years she led a group of church ladies who made quilts to raise money for church projects. Naturally I learned quiltmaking through osmosis, becoming a quilt maker and selling my quilts by the time I left college. I had an uncle who helped me make my first big oil painting out of doors, just like the Impressionists, I later learned. That experience led me to become a painting major in college. I had a grandfather who shared the forest with us on Labor Day reunions in the Pennsylvania forest. He’d take us on hikes, showing us different plants, fungi, dropped deer antlers, and such. He taught us to be still, listen and observe nature in all its beauty and complexity. Is it any wonder my two brothers became foresters? An old lady at the same reunion would bring items from the woods to decorate our dining table – a bit of moss, a lovely rounded pebble, the first red leaves of fall. Gifts from the forest! There it is, that gratitude to God for our natural world.
I am sure you all have adults in your lives who have shared their creativity with you and taught and encouraged you to be creative, observant and imaginative. What’s unique about this book is that the author shows how creativity and imagination arises out of gratitude for all we’ve been given. Therefore this book is not just a list of projects you can do with your children; it is a holistic way of seeing creative expression as a way of life, as a way of living mindfully in the world. As you encourage your children to create things and get purposefully messy, you kick start your own creativity and rediscover the joy of creation you had as a child. And the circle goes round and round.
Chapter headings are Gathering, Playing, Living, Connecting. Whether you are a parent, grandparent, parent to be, or child caregiver, borrow this wonderful “creativity bible” from the library and spend some time with it. Our children grow up so fast. We owe it to them to help them learn to live creatively, rather than just plopping them down in front of electronic babysitters. We can learn to live, and teach them to live, creatively, mindfully and intentionally. When grown, they will be responsible for conserving and saving this planet, so we need to equip them to come up with creative ways to do so. This book is a primer for that. Enjoy your kids and family life together with this super, super book. ( )
  Epiphany-OviedoELCA | Aug 30, 2011 |
I thought it was a really fun book, and a quick read. The pictures of her 3 kids were cute. It was mostly text, though, which was nice: I think I would have been annoyed if it was just pictures of her kids, the way that I think some of these blog authors do. The text was well written and fairly intresting, though totally preaching to the choir. Though I guess I’m the choir, so there you go.

See my entire review at: http://sanctimommy.wordpress.com/2009/07/08/the-creative-family/
  TBS_library | Jan 9, 2010 |
i love, love, LOVE amanda's blog, soulemama, so i'm super excited to get my copy in the mail!
  jphilbrick | Dec 3, 2009 |
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Offers suggestions for using arts, crafts, and other creative activities to nurture family relationships.

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