The Creative Family: How to Encourage Imagination and Nurture Family Connections by Amanda Black Soule
When I reviewed Young at Art, two friends suggested this book instead. Susan Striker's book actually laid out a plan for introducing a young child to art materials like paints, clay and colors. This book focuses more on creating a family life that embraces and encourages creativity.
First of all, this book is beautiful. It is well-designed and illustrated, including many pictures of the author with her three children. (She now has four; check out her blog for more updates on her life.)
There are a few projects suggested in the book, many of which were new to me and some of which we will be introducing on the Range. I love the idea of creating thank you cards with some artwork by the children (p. 17) and think Kansas Dad and the kids will have a great time making real wood block from logs we cut on our own land (p. 49). I've made lots of notes on these and other ideas. The projects cover a range of materials and skill levels so there's something here for everyone.
The tone of the book was a little "earthy" for me, thanking "earth mother" and such. In our house, we usually thank God for the earth. I think it's simple enough to glean some great ideas, though, from around the few things we wouldn't do with our children. I was also surprised she didn't mention cooking until a paragraph or so in the last chapter, but perhaps that's because once I started thinking about how we encourage creativity on the Range now, I realized it's mainly in the kitchen. (And by "we," I mean "I" since Kansas Dad does relatively little baking with the children, though they will sometimes help stir the pancake batter.)
There's more I'd like to share about the book, but Second Son is calling me and it's already taken a week to write this post. Check the book out and see if it can encourage some more creativity in your own life.