I've really been looking forward to the Weekly Library Challenge this week, where I share a library book the boys love and a library book that I have been reading primarily because of the inspiration I've drawn from Imagine Childhood: Exploring the World through Nature, Imagination and Play, and 25 Projects that spark curiosity and adventure by Sarah Olmstead, blogger and a highly seasoned and inspiring nature explorer and imagination nurturer who excels at play! Living in a small, rural town surrounded by mountains, I love her emphasis on nature play and all that can be gained from spending time outdoors exploring and creating.
Before I delve a bit more into Imagine Childhood, let's look at what library book the boys love from this week. The illustrations of Eric Carle keep attracting my boys with Baby Bear, Baby Bear What Do You See? Written by Bill Martin Jr. and Illustrated by Eric Carle and The Artist Who Painted A Blue Horse Written and Illustrated by Eric Carle both being heavy favorites for the boys this week. Baby Bear, Baby Bear What Do You See? is a great stepping stone after Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? as the animals and their acts get a bit more complex and thus more challenging for early readers.
The book pairs well with The Artist Who Painted A Blue Horse since they reinforce colors for Caterpillar and the repetitive aspects engage Wild Thing who loves books with repetition that allow him to quickly and easily "read" them himself. Showing off and reading a book to his brother makes him exceptionally happy and proud. Also still in heavy rotation are both Duck On A Bike and Round Is A Tortilla, which we shared last week, and though not from the library, The Magic Poof, our newest book, is requested at least once a day. The link points here between the books the boys have been reading and the book I am reading are definitely nature and imagination. As we read Baby Bear, Baby Bear What Do You See and The Artist Who Painted A Blue Horse, Wild Thing wanted to discuss where the animals lived expressing his interest in the different aspects of nature that might suit each animal. And as we read The Magic Poof, we enjoyed imagining what magic powers we'd like our hair to have!
In the book, Olmstead offers wonderful projects that encourage children's curiosity and nurture the inherent inclination to engage the world, go on adventures and solve problem, such as boat-making, play tents, seasonal capes, wands and much more. Not only did I value the activity and project suggestions and the ideas they inspired in me for my own children, but I also appreciated how it reminded me, as an adult, of the value of curiosity and imagination and of bringing these into my own daily life and professional work as well. Put it on your library list and, in the meantime, head outside and explore.
I enjoyed the story of how her book came to be evolving from her work as a freelance children's furniture designer and fabricator to working at the Field Museum of Natural History where she developed interactive education activities before founding her site imaginationchildhood.com, which led to this beautiful book.
Imagine Childhood led me to think of all of the other books written by talented bloggers. The wonderful members of the Kid Blogger Network helped me make this list, but if I missed a few, please let me know.
I'm starting with play, art and learning books:
- Nurture Store has two books to encourage play, creativity and learning: The Homemade Playdough Recipe Book: recipes and ideas for a whole year of play and The Garden Classroom, packed with a year's worth of outdoor play ideas, gardening tips, nature study, art and craft, and science, math and literacy activities. Both are ebooks by the Nurture Store's lovely Cathy James.
- The Artful Parent Book: Simple Ways to Fill Your Family's Life with Art & Creativity by Jean Van't Hul of The Artful Parent with over 60 activities organized by themes to make the activities easy for families.
- Playful Learning: Develop Your Child's Sense of Joy and Wonder by Mariah Bruehl of the Playful Learning Ecademy. The book focuses on hands-on projects that encourage learning and help children discover the joy of learning.
- Red Ted Art also has a book, appropriately titled Red Ted Art: 60 Cute and Easy Crafts for Kids by Maggy Woodley (of Red Ted Art). I am a huge fan of hers, so I'm sure the book is fabulous -- it's on my must-read list (as are all of these, now actually!)
- Time to Create: Hands-On Explorations in Process Art for Young Children, by Christie Burnett of Childhood 101, available in paperback and ebook edition, highlights the developmental value of art activities for young children with an emphasis on process over product. As someone whose products often leave much to be desired, this approach sounds enticing.
- Make and Takes for Kids: 50 Crafts Through the Year by Marie LeBaron of Make and Takes. As the title suggests the book focuses on holidays and the four seasons to engage children throughout the year. The book outlines learning objectives and skills that children acquire through the art and craft activities.
Now, for parenting and child development books:
- Minimalist Parenting: Enjoy Modern Family Life More By Doing Less by Christine Koh and Asha Dornfest of Minimalist Parenting. The emphasis of the book is on identifying what activities, items and people merit attention and time in family's lives, often through various parents' personal stories.
- Teach Me To Serve: 99 Ways Preschoolers Can Learn to Serve and Bless Others by Kristen Summers of Celebrate Every Day With Me is an eBook focused on practical tasks preschoolers can do to learn to serve their community and, even, the world. I am planning on reading the book over the next couple of weeks and look forward to sharing all about it.
- Shawn of Awesomely Awake has her Playful Family eBook, now available on Kindle and a new Playful Family Adventure e-course. Both encourage busy parents to slow down and spend quality time with their children.
- Book Love: Help Your Child Grow From A Reluctant to Enthusiastic Reader by Melissa Taylor of Imagination Soup with activities, reading approaches, book lists and much more. Melissa has also been getting a lot of attention lately with her latest book too, a perfect book for bloggers and anyone looking to spread their work and/or brand through the power of Pinterest: Pinterest Saavy: How Got 1 Million+ Followers (Strategies, Plans and Tips to Grow Your Business on Pinterest).
- Kindergarten: Tattle-Tales, Tools, Triumphs and Tasty Treats for Teachers and Parents by Susan Case of Kindergarten and Preschool for Parents and Teachers, available in paperback and on Nook and Kindle.
- Ready for Kindergarten by Deborah J. Stewart of Teach Preschool. This is a brand new book focused on helping parents prepare their children for Kindergarten by highlighting what children should know, how parents can help with getting their children ready and tools that help parents review their children's progress, revise activities as needed for their children and revisit activities to build new skills.
- A Child Like You: The Adventures of Jessica Chance by Rebecca English of Here Come the Girls, an online story told in installments for children ages 9-11, with activities to go with the story.
- Daria of World Music by Daria has several CDs available on Amazon and iTunes including 5 Award-Winning Albums. She also has musical instruments and eBooks available, including A Child's Life in the Andes.
- Similarly, Debbie of Rainbows Within Reach has CDs and Children's Books, such as You're Wonderful (Book and CD package), a book about love and affirmation.
- I'm a fan of Giselle of Kids Yoga Stories, and she has several children's books, including Sophia's Jungle Adventure. She also has a coloring book version available and much more.
Finally, though not a book, I did want to share an upcoming E-Workshop from two lovely bloggers: Gina at Connecting Family and Seoul and Kat from Creative Playhouse. The workshop is a 30-day workshop beginning August 5th. It focuses on Connecting Family Through Creative Play.
You might also like:
|Ten for Tuesday: Community Helpers|
|Wonderful Book from Soule Mama|
|Water + Nature Play|