One of the MOST important things I want to do for my kids is to create opportunities for them to to use their imagination and ingenuity to “create”. Albert Einstein once said that “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”
I fully agree with his statement. I have accomplished so much in life because I actively nurtured creativity in life and in business. When I worked in marketing there was nothing that served me better….my job was to imagine a company brand, marketing materials, a PR campaign, collaterals, and then create what I saw in my mind. I still have my portfolio with all of my concepts and designs. I knew I wanted my children to feel the same empowerment that I did from being able to visualize something and then make it a reality.
Our home by design is a haven for creativity and artistry. We have paints, soy and beeswax crayons, sketching pencils and instruction books, stencils, beads, clay, play dough, beeswax, sewing supplies, costumes and face paints, henna, decoupage materials, cross stitch and knitting supplies…we are always adding to our “creation station”.
Yesterday I read a book that really resonated with me. I couldn’t put it down! It is The Creative Family – How to Encourage Imagination and Nurture Family Connections by Amanda Blake Soule. It is full of advice on how to easily encourage a creative atmosphere and it has many simple projects for the whole family to do. It also gives many ideas for inspiration. I loved her ideas to use kids artwork to make thank you cards and Christmas cards, I loved her idea to use beat up vintage children’s books for art projects, and I loved her ideas for organizing everything. I will be making our own inspiration wire like she shows in the book, which is filled with beautiful color photos of her home and her family’s projects. My favorite tip was hands down the one where she suggested taking shirts with paint/marker/food stains and dying them. I hadn’t thought of that! There is also a chapter devoted to being resourceful and not wasteful. It has many planet friendly ideas.
One tip that I fully endorse it to buy quality art supplies for your kids…not the cheap stuff you get at big box stores. Yes, it does cost more but their creations are worth it. After all, we don’t like using low quality tools when we have a job to do. That is one reason I like soy crayons so much…they color smoothly and evenly unlike chunky, splotchy petroleum crayons. Quality watercolors are steadfast and won’t fade like the little Crayola sets you can buy. A good wooden handle, animal hair paint brush will last for a long time as opposed to a cheap plastic one. A good place to look for cheap but high quality materials is at yard sales and estate sales. I know I am looking for children’s desks this summer. Even if they are in bad condition I can paint them and give them a makeover.
Among the projects outlined in the book…a pencil roll, felt blocks, a pair of pants from an old T-shirt, freezer paper stenciling, embroidering your children’s art on clothes and pillows, making memory books, and making bedtime bags….plus much more.
I think it would be hard for anyone to read this book and NOT be inspired by it. I know I will be referring to my copy for a long time to come.
Make sure to check out my review of Amanda Blake Soule’s second book… Handmade Home!!!
Thursday, June 12th, 2008