Friday, June 24, 2011

The Creative Family

The Creative Family by LAUREN STAATS


I walked into my neighbor, Brianna's, house for the first time about six months ago and thought to myself, "Where are all the toys?" Brianna has a six month old and a 2 1/2 year old and you'd expect toys to be everywhere, right? She had a playroom with a pretty little painted kitchen and miniature table and chairs. When you open the cabinets of the little kitchen there are a few simple toys such as legos, blocks, books, and puzzles. This was the beginning of my little journey of discovery...does Noah really need all of these toys that are strewn across my house?

Over the past few months, my philosophy has changed on the amount of toys Noah needs. It's so easy when you are a new mom to go a little crazy on toys. Even when you don't have a significant chunk of change to spend, if you are like me, you were first in line at many a garage sale to get the best deal possible. I have a little running list of what I would have done differently as a first time mom, and collecting heaps of toys would be near the top of that list. Don't get me wrong, Noah never had an excessive amount of toys, but the majority of the toys that I did buy for him didn't necessarily benefit his development.

I am reading a book called "The Creative Family" by Amanda Soule, the mama of all bloggers, Soulemama. She lives on a farm, homeschools and lives a really simple life with her four (almost five) children. Now I don't plan on knitting all of my kids clothes and creating my own purified water through some sort of pump in the backyard, but I do love her philosophy on fostering your child's creativity. I haven't read the whole book yet, but she just emphasizes the fact that the less toys you have, the more creative a child will be forced to be. She says to really be careful about the toys you bring into your home and focus on toys that inspire creativity. For instance, a play kitchen, a tent, and/or an art easel would provide a great setting for imaginative play.

She also really encourages arts and crafts time with you and your children. She has an inspiration wire in her kitchen where she hangs her kid's artwork and encourages them to develop their own sense of self through art. She even taught her kids to sew! You have to look at her blog! It is the most bizarre thing to see a little boy at a sewing machine making something for his siblings for Christmas! Anyways, she seems to do a really good job of fostering an environment of creativity in her home.


The book also touches on the value and importance of reading, which is kind of a dying art for children in this day and age of television, video games, media, etc...I examined Noah's little library collection and found myself overwhelmed at how little books he has and how expensive books can be. On Monday, Brianna asked me to go to the library with her...DING DING DING! I realized Noah can read any book under the sun for free through my little local library membership! You can check out up to 50 at a time! I checked out five things (see above pic)...Nelson said my free membership will become rather expensive if I check out 50 books and have to pay late fees for the one's I lose;o)...Anyways, I'm encouraged by the fact that money isn't required to provide an enriching learning environment for Noah or any child for that matter. They even have a story time two days a week and a toddler reading time once a week! I remember going to story time when I was little, do you? I love discovering new and simpler ways to help Noah learn and grow...Do you have any ideas of toys/things that will inspire creativity and imaginative play?

1 comment:

  1. This is a great post!! I have three kiddos, and between them they have gobs of toys. I
    go through the toy box regularly to get rid of stuff they don't play with. Most of our toys are hand me downs from friends. We have lots of legos, train sets, and craft stuff. My older two (5 and 2) tend to get really creative when playing with legos. They can spend hours with them.