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I take a creative approach to parenting. This probably explains why I’m drawn to parenting books that encourage parents to get creative in order to evoke deep thinking in their children. We’re a very sensory and play based home. There are lots of happy messes, art projects, and various play scenes constantly being built up (or torn down) in every room of the house
In a tech heavy world, I still get most of my parenting inspiration from actual books. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Pinterest and use it frequently to get ideas for daily activities, but it’s just not the same as flipping through beautiful pages of carefully designed book on creativity. With a real book, I can feel the author’s creativity jump right off the pages and into whatever plane of existence my own creativity is pulled from; something I don’t really experience from staring at a computer screen.
When I was just starting out on my mama journey, I found You Are Your Child’s First Teacher to be incredibly influential. It helped to cement in my head just how important and special these early parenting years are. It also gave me some great ideas for play activities with a baby who was only a couple of months old at the time. Sometimes, when I’m feeling too scattered and exhausted to make another day at home count, I check out this book from the library and feel a great sense of reassurance wash over me. It’s an awesome book.
I frequently reference Seven Times the Sun for daily rhythm ideas and it was my main inspiration for putting together Mealtime Verses and a Healing Basket. I stumbled upon the book in a thrift store, and knowing exactly what kind of treasure it was I bought it as quick as I could.
Here is a list of my favorite parenting and teaching resources:
Dad’s Book of Awesome Science Experiments- Mike Adamick
You Are Your Child’s First Teacher- Rahima Baldwin Dancy
The Creative Family- Amanda Blake Soule
The Handmade Home-Amanda Blake Soule
Rhythm of Family- Amanda Blake Soule
Playful Learning- Mariah Bruehl
Festivals Family and Food- Diana Carey and Judy Large
Seven Times the Sun- Shea Darian
Maker Dad- Mark Frauenfelder
The Write Start- Jennifer Hallissy
The Artful Parent; Jean Van’t Hul
Baking Bread with Children- Warren Lee Cohen
Junk Drawer Physics-Bobby Mercer
Show Me A Story- Emily K. Neuburger
Beyond the Rainbow Bridge-Barbara J. Patterson and Pamela Bradley
Art Lab for Little Kids-Susan Schwake
I usually have a combination of at least 5 of these books checked out from the library at any given time. My favorites are: Play Learning, Rhythm of Family, Tinkerlab, and The Artful Parent; with Playful Learningbeing my go-to reference book when I feel like I’m in a creative parenting slump or need some new ideas for play space layout. It’s a beautiful book.