Sunday, April 26, 2015

Cool Spaces for Kids - Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks - Week 17

For the 17th week of the Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks challenge as well as the Spiritual Practices from A to Z challenge, I read Cool Spaces for Kids by Sam Scarborough.

This wasn't one of the books recommended on the Spiritual Practices from A to Z list for this week's focus (Imagination), but I felt that the book captured the spirit of imagination.

The book is a delightful compilation of ideas and patterns for creating items that would foster a child's imagination. Many of the ideas brought back wonderful memories of the earlier years of Sophia's and Olivia's lives when they would play for countless hours with imaginative toys and props that I collected for them.

They would spend a lot of time in their indoor play space - a dramatic play area as I referred to it.  The play area would change each week or so - one week it was a bakery, another week a veterinarian's office, and another week a campsite. Their minds would transport them to these worlds and they would play and imagine what life was like in these places.

The one section that I particularly enjoyed in Cool Spaces for Kids was the treehouse section. The author offered advice:
- Plan a fantasy space. Spend some time planning with your children.
- Build together. Build trap doors, fixed step ladders for little ones, and hanging ladders for older climbers.
- Decorate the interior. Make curtains, add floor cushions and blankets. Take up roll-up mattresses and sleeping bags.
- Add swings and slides. Add a zip line or create a suspension bridge or walkway.
- Build signposts and pulley baskets. Hoist up a picnic basket on a pulley for lunch supplies or books and other toys.
- Build a treehouse without damaging the tree. 

Another idea that would be appropriate for tweens/teens is to make a games table. The author suggested using decorative scrapbook paper and decoupaging it onto the wooden table. This is a different - and quite beautiful - way to embellish a table while giving it another practical purpose. Perhaps this could be a future 4-H project for one of the girls since both enjoy playing games.

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