It seems like every Christmas there is a pile of activity books under the tree. I have bought my kids books about micro crafts, making little warfare weapons from office supplies, house building and more. These books end up on the family bookshelf and are really a gift to us all that enriches our life and makes for a creative year.
If I did not receive a copy of Imagine Childhood: 25 projects that spark curiosity and adventure by Sarah Olmstead, it would have been under our tree this year.
Imagine Childhood is a treatise on the importance of a slow, intentional, creative-based childhood offering specific projects and suggestions to support the thesis. Divided into three parts: nature, play and imagination, each section is filled with evocative essays, hand on projects and breath taking photographs. This book is delightful for the whole family as it easily fulfills both a parent's need for soulful, inspiring writing, and a kid's need for hands-on making!
I love how the projects range from simple to complex, yet all provide the space and tools to create a dreamy, timeless childhood. Some of the projects are classics, like making tents, sewing kites and building little boats from found natural objects. Others are more unique, like building Rube Goldberg apparatuses, constructing little adobe houses and making a 19th century magic lantern. Olmstead reframes the classics and makes them seem fresh and full of new possibilities. All the projects leave the reader with inspiration and an eagerness to spend time making and playing.
I especially appreciated that several of the projects were more involved and would be perfect for older kids; I am always on the lookout for open-ended creative projects for olders. In fact, I am sure you will see several highlighted here on the blog in the upcoming year, as my kids are excited to try some out.
I highly, highly recommend this book. It would be the perfect gift for a any family, but it especially deserves a place under your tree.
Good Luck! I will pick a winner next Tuesday!
You can enter to win a copy of Imagine Childhood & a $25 gift certificate to the Imagine Childhood Shop!
Just in time for Christmas, this is a wonderful opportunity!
To win just leave a comment sharing your favorite childhood imaginative activity.
Ooh, I've been wanting this book! My favorite memories are all the times spent outside at my grandparent's house playing with my cousins. We always had so much fun!ReplyDelete
I vividly and fondly remember making radio broadcasts with my 3 brothers and sisters. We would use our cassette player and record some songs off the radio, make up others and in between we would make up our own commercials, news reports and weather forecasts. I think my mom may actually still have one in a box somewhere.ReplyDelete
oh! i love that so much!Delete
I did that too with one of my good childhood friends. we even did a soap opera!Delete
When we were kids, me, my sisters and other neighborhood friends would always have this pretend plays where we would have super powers. Bad guys would try to catch the good guys and have them as prisoners. Then the good guys will try to save them. There will be invisible shields or super hearing/seeing powers and the like. It was fun =)ReplyDelete
I remember that! We were a secret girl gang.Delete
Dressing up in these sparkly, lacy evening gowns from the dress-up box and putting on shows-singing, dancing, roller skating, skits.... On a really lucky day, we could get out the old sample book of AVON makeup from my Grandma and add that colorful touch! This book will be perfect for my home-based preschool enrichment program!ReplyDelete
Probably one of my most favorite childhood memory is just hanging out with my best friend (also a Karen) and playing Barbie dolls together or her teaching me the piano. It was just lovely having my best friend live in my same apartment building and hanging out with her and having the time to just hang out and play together. The book looks like a great read and share! thanks for the giveaway!ReplyDelete
I'm with Colleen! A tape recorder is one of the best toys for a kid. My mom "did the news" on our local radio station so I was always taping my own radio broadcasts on my tape recorder. There was always a trivia question of the day and it was always the same question. (Q: What color is yak's milk?) Later on I got a keyboard which led composing many pop singles and sound effects for the soap opera that my best friend and I recorded. Good times!ReplyDelete
I might be really lame, but my best imaginative play was pretending to do school with my friends! I have always been a bookworm, have always loved learning, reading, and have always loved school. Being teacher to my friends and trading that role and doing pretend homework and checking out library books for our homework assignments was always a blast!ReplyDelete
My friend and I would pretend to be intrepid explorers making maps and charting the woods near my home. It was a whole lot of fun.ReplyDelete
My sister and I would make up silly movies and video them for our family. So fun!ReplyDelete
One of my favorite imaginings was the space shuttle I created in my closet. I drew buttons and a window on the wall and played astronaut.ReplyDelete
My best friend and I had an ongoing game in which we were sisters... I can't remember much of the plot but I do remember that we rode our "horses" on the banisters of my front porch.ReplyDelete
My brother, cousins and I had so much fun playing in the treehouse that my dad, uncle, and grandpa made. We always had some kind of amazing adventure going on in there!ReplyDelete
We loved to create our own stories and put on impromptu plays.ReplyDelete
When I was little I love playing with my Barbies and pretending they were going on vacations, to dances, school, etc!ReplyDelete
I used to pretend all sorts of things while exploring my parent's woods...that I was an explorer, a biologist hunting for exotic never-found-before creatures, a famous photographer...all sorts of things. These stories have never left me.ReplyDelete
There was a huge pile of sand and dirt near our house and we would create towns, cities and road with tunnels and overpasses for toy carsReplyDelete
Making play food with playdough to feed to my dollReplyDelete
As a child, I lived in a citrus grove in Central Florida (in Lakeland, Amy!) with 6 orange trees and 6 grapefruit trees on our property. I remember making mud pies in my "orange tree treehouse" each spring, and frosting them liberally with orange blossoms. The smell was heavenly! A couple springs ago I discovered orange blossom water at the Middle Eastern market and made a REAL orange cake with orange-blossom frosting. I couldn't resist decorating it with a few orange blossoms plucked from a tree in my backyard... my inner child swooned!ReplyDelete
I love Imagine Childhood and I REALLY want this book! :-)
I used to take empty shoeboxes and line them with extra wallpaper swatches with my own mixture of paste made of flour and water. Then I would make a little room for my dolls by using empty thread spools as their tables and matchboxes as chairs.ReplyDelete
I remember camping with my grandparents on the Mississippi River. My grandpa would cut small cross sections of wood into discs and tell us they were "Indian nickels." We would stay busy all day hunting for them on the island. :)ReplyDelete
One of my favorite things to do was make little villages in my mother's rock garden. I made tiny huts, trails, fences, even roads in between the spiderwort and the hostas that always, graciously, left up until the chipmunks or the elements did away with them. Hours and hours of my childhood devoted to these tiny spaces.ReplyDelete
I have been pondering this book as well. Making mud pies and "baking" them under the dryer vent on the side of the house with my sister was a favorite activity. We had quite a bakery going.ReplyDelete
i loved to play dress up! my mother gave me a hamper full of old clothes and scarves, and i would play the day away.ReplyDelete
My favorite imaginative activity has always been reading!ReplyDelete
I loved playing with the office stuff from my dads work. My parents just recently found a box of mine in the attic and it was filled with hundreds (literally) of fake checks I had made out of index cards and receipts. They all had names of my current friends or lisa turtle or one of the saved by the bell members. It was an awesome find. Don't you just love childhood.ReplyDelete
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.ReplyDelete
Fun! I enjoyed doing puppet shows.ReplyDelete
Fun! I enjoyed playing with puppets.ReplyDelete
My sister and I would climb a big tree in our backyard and read books.ReplyDelete
My sister and I would climb a big tree in our backyard and read books up there.ReplyDelete
Climbing up coconut tree,swinging from those Mango trees and the summer moonlight dinners - all at grandma's house,are all my favourites.ReplyDelete
I loved riding my bike all over the neighborhood and drawing roads and places to go on the sidewalk. Anything outside was always fun and involved me and more than one sibling.ReplyDelete
I remember making a zoo with my Gram out of cardboard, paper and fabric scraps out of whatever she had lying around. We made all the animals and people, trees, bushes, benches, a balloon vendor, and used crunched up brown paper for the bear caves! I remember spending several days on that project!ReplyDelete
it doesn't get any better than good old fashioned dress-up. I love to see my kiddos playing dress-up! firstname.lastname@example.orgReplyDelete
Oh... I loved playing out in our homemade forts made from down tree trunks.ReplyDelete
Oooooo, great book! If I don't win it's on my gift list. I'm also intrigued by the office supplies warfareReplyDelete
Sorry got cut off on my last comment by the iPad! My favourite childhood memory....swinging so high on my swing that my stomach flip flopped, whilst staring at a hill in the distance and imagining I lived there, and making up a story of how I would get there. I can still remember the tiny details of it today. Thanks for reminding me xReplyDelete
Ohh, the book is on my wishlist, looks like a really good one. I really loved playing spies with my sister, we had special names, dad's old briefcases with important 'documents', haha so much fun. Also loved jumping from my bunkbed with a plastic bag pretending it to be a parachute :)ReplyDelete
We Love,Love, LOVE Imagine Childhood!♥ReplyDelete
My two siblings and I would spend hours outside playing at everything. My favorite was "pirates". We'd dash to our chosen ship (jungle gym) and signal our next door neighbors to come on out. Thanks for the trip down memory lane, nice boost for a dreary day.ReplyDelete
I used to make potions and magic creams out of soap, toilet paper and water in the bath. I wanted to be a scientist... :)ReplyDelete
My favourite imaginative activity was simple: reading!ReplyDelete
Honestly, I don't remember ever taking part in much imaginative play when I was young. I was such a book worm! Now that I have seven children, I get involved in setting up imaginative play opportunities for them...bath time activities, crafts, group projects, etc. I LOVE it!ReplyDelete
I remember on those chaotic days that engulfed my young world, I would lay on my back and imagine what it would be like to live on the ceiling. The ceiling was clean of mess and chaos. It calmed me with minutes as I planned on how I would decorate and what would go where. I remember those moments fondly. Heck, when life gets hectic now I find myself lying back on my bed and staring at the ceiling.ReplyDelete
My sister and I would always hold cooking classes in the backyard down by the chook pen. Lots of mud pies where made! Another would be that I was a teacher and my sister and her friend were my students, I would teach them Italian! Thanks for the question, it has brought back many fond memories!ReplyDelete
My sister and I loved to hide under the neighbor's oak, whose branches hung all the way to the ground, and "cook" in our nature kitchen with all the goodies we'd find. It warms my heart to watch my littles do the same:) Tempi@mac.comReplyDelete
Mine are pretty simple. There are a lot of them. I'd say fort making, tree climbing, and nature watching/drawing/painting, would be my top picks. Thanks for sharing.ReplyDelete
Caroline ; )
The hours I spent excavating an old dump site, then cleaning up the treasures to furnish my fort. Guess I know where my love of thrift stores comes from! :)ReplyDelete
Playing super girls in the woods with my BF. It was awesome.ReplyDelete