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My baby, of course, is far from having enough dexterity to wield a crayon let alone create anything that might be considered crafty, but that doesn’t mean I’m not already reading up on the subject. I’d love nothing more than to have a wildly creative little girl who wants to make her own clothes and learns to knit at age 5.
Of course a lot of that falls on me, not just to give her the skills required for such crafty mojo, but to create an environment in which creativity is supported and encouraged.
That’s one of the reasons I was eager to check out The Creative Family: How to Encourage Imagination and Nurture Family Connections by Amanda Blake Soule (also? I’d heard it had a cool pattern for kid pants, which I’ll be trying out as soon as I actually have purchased a pair of baby pants from which to make a pattern).
The book covers things like preparing your creative mind (particularly for folks who aren’t crafty themselves), using good materials and finding things in nature to use for projects, encouraging imagination, supporting the young artist, exploring nature, celebrating the family and making things for holidays.
There are tons of ideas for organizing and using craft materials, as well as projects like the aforementioned pants, colored pencil rolls, freezer paper stencils for clothing, tips on embroidering kids’ drawings onto pillows and other fabrics (this is an awesome idea I’m definately going to use), felted wool balls, arty placemats and more.
Some of the projects are geared toward kids since they can be sewn by hand, but others are certainly for the grownups to complete.
There are also more general meditations on making a carfty family life, from having good materials available (not even kids like working with the cheap stuff) and ways to display art (the “inspiration wire,” a sort of indoor clothesline for hanging art and other beautiful things, is a great idea) to ways to share the love of homemade with kids and help connect them to nature.
I hope that when my little one is big enough to enjoy some of these projects we’ll be crafting together and that she will come to enjoy the freedom and creativity of making things as much as I do.