If you are looking for activities to not only occupy your children, but to enchant them, to encourage their creative growth and brain development, you should look into Child of Wonder: Nurturing Creative and Naturally Curious Children by Ginger Carlson.
Normally I can scan through books and find a few things I want to copy. With this book I got out my highlighter and sticky note tags. Carlson makes a case for including creative moments in all our lives. And what’s really great is that she makes it easy. None of these ideas take huge chunks of time or money. You’ll find a lot of simple things here – bubbles, homemade dolls, playing in the mud, and empty boxes for building blocks. In fact, once you have her systems for reading nooks, dress up centers, and art tables in place – you may find your life a lot easier.
Creativity isn’t just about paint. Carlson has ideas for movement, costumes, music, storytelling, building, cooking, and much more. You’ll find ideas for enhancing in-house communication like family member mailboxes and letter journals. I love her idea of making open and closed signs for electronic devices.
Carlson explains learning styles and the theory of multiple intelligences. She offers simple methods for determining your own children’s unique abilities. The book is interspersed with quotes from creative thinkers. She recommends so many of my favorite books for children, and our favorite toys, too. You’ll also find great websites and catalog recommendations.
Ms. Carlson encourages parents to make space for creativity in their children’s lives. She gives parents hundreds of ideas for tapping into children’s innate curiosity. Even though my own children are older than the preschool and early elementary target group of this book, I still found all sorts of ideas I could use. Still – I wish I’d had this book when my children were small. I’d recommend it for anyone with young children in their lives – parents, teachers, and grandparents.