The Creative Family by Amanda Soule : an interview & a giveaway

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About Tsh

Tsh is the founder of this blog and lives in Bend, Oregon with her husband and 3 kids. Her latest book is Notes From a Blue Bike, and believes a passport is one of the world's greatest textbooks.

This giveaway is now closed. Check here for the winners!

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of interviewing Amanda Soule, author of the wonderful book The Creative Family, and writer of the hugely popular blog Soule Mama.

the creative family
Photo by Meg McElwee

I adore her book. It has given me a renewed spirit of creativity with my family, and it has provided me with practical know-how for pursuing crafts and ideas I might otherwise not do. Amanda’s idea in this book embody simplicity and creativity – two things I highly value.

I’ve got two great things today for Simple Mom readers. First, I’ve got my interview with Amanda – and I hope you enjoy her answers as much as I do. Secondly, I’m giving three of you a chance to win a copy of The Creative Family! After the interview, I’ll give you details on how you can win.

The Interview

SM: First off, congratulations on your latest pregnancy! Reading your book and blog, it seems like you really love being a mom. What overall message do you hope parents take away from reading your book?

girl drawing
Photo by Wesley Satterwhite

AS: I suppose the overall message I hope to give would be that of embracing creativity as a means of connection with your children. It’s certainly the motivation behind my blog for me – as well as a reminder of the gift of parenthood, and the fleetingness of it all – the preciousness in the everyday, mundane and beautiful moments of this life. That’s what I try to remind myself of when I write, and I hope it’s what others take away from it all as well.

SM: As I read your book, I repeatedly told my husband, “It must be so fun to be a kid in this family.” It seems like you guys play so much! How do you balance making time to play with your kids and doing “grown-up things” like managing your home?

lawn
Photo by Allison M

AS: Certainly there are many moments and many days where my energy is shifted to the more ‘grown-up things’ that are involved in managing a home and family. But on the best of days, there’s a balance and fluidity between the two. Incorporating ‘play’ into the work is helpful, especially as children are naturally such mimickers of what we do anyway. Sure, it may take twice as long to wash the windows with the kids, but if I can let go of the rush of it and turn it into a game, everyone’s happier, they’re learning something, a task is being completed, and we’re all doing something together.

Some tasks, of course, need to be completed by just Mama (or Papa!), and I find opportunities for those come up especially after a period of truly connected, and fully present play with my children. When their cup is full (of love, attention and connection), so to speak, they’re more able to find something to work on by themselves for a bit while I work. Sometimes this happens naturally, and sometimes it’s more spelled out, “I really want to play Animal Lotto with you, and then it’s going to be time for me to do X.”, etc.

One last thing I want to say about this is that my idea of ‘managing a home’ might look really different than others. Having an immaculate, super organized home just isn’t the priority for me right now. Someday, I’m sure it will be more important, but for right now, I want to remember that there are only so many things I can do in a day. And I want to choose those things I spend my time on mindfully.

SM: I love the idea of your craft cabinet that’s in your dining room, and that you recommend children using quality art supplies. Do your kids have free-range access to all art supplies at any time? If so, are there issues with messes and clean up? (My first thought was panic at the idea of my 3-year-old having access to oil paints!)

messy kid
Photo by Barry

AS: The shelves that are in reach of the children are all materials that are all-access all the time – paper, stickers, crayons, clay, colored pencils, etc. On the higher shelves, are the materials that require a check-in with Mama first, or things that require a lot of time and help from an adult – oil paints, glitter, papier mache and other ‘messy’ art materials.

Since our “art” table is also our “dining” table, I keep a vinyl tablecloth underneath the cloth one all the time. So I can easily whip off the cloth one for craft projects, the vinyl is so easy to clean up, that really helps. There are definitely lots of spills and messes, but nothing that’s too impossible to clean up (outside crafting is also a great solution for the super messy stuff. Somewhere you can just spray down with a hose when you’re done!) The kids have art aprons on the side of the cabinet, so they almost always wear one of those which helps eliminate some of the extra laundry I’d otherwise be doing.

SM: Simple Mom is a blog about simplicity, and I frequently advocate that simplifying your life ultimately increases productivity. What would your thoughts be for a fellow mom who feels like she just doesn’t have time to be creative with her kids, that her life is just too busy?

hands
Photo by Wesley Satterwhite

AS: My intent was that The Creative Family provide ideas for incorporating creative play and pursuit into the time we already have and spend together as family. For example: creatively celebrating our meals and other everyday rituals; games that require little to no ‘materials’ and can therefore be done anywhere and anytime, etc.

Sometimes, if creative play isn’t already in our daily lives, and yet, it’s something we’re feeling a craving for more of – it might take a little more effort to fill that need. Planning the time to make it happen, taking a look at some of the ‘extras’ in our days that might be ‘let go of’ in order to pursue what we want, etc. The reward for someone feeling that need can make these efforts and sacrifices so worth it, and lead to a more centered, grounded, and connected self and family.

SM: I know you get asked this all the time, but how are you able to do so much? Give us a few time management tips you’ve learned.

AS: Well, first I must just say – because the thought of another Mama out there feeling somehow inadequate just about breaks my heart – that I most certainly do not ‘do it all’. Sometimes the nature of blogs – and particularly the way that I keep mine focused for the most part on the joy – can create a bit of a false illusion. So I hope no one ever for gets that what you might see on a blog is just one paragraph of someone’s day, or what they’ve chosen to focus on from their day.

But…how do I make time for all the things I do? I guess the overriding factor is that I’m pretty mindful of how my time is spent. And not in a way that I’m watching the clock all day, but in a way that I cut out a lot of the ‘extra’ that doesn’t feel important to me, and really try to make the important things a focus of our days. We don’t watch TV, and I try to not waste away hours on the computer (besides working), we don’t ‘leisure shop’, etc, etc. The important things to me – our time together as a family, time spent in nature, creative exploration, making a ‘home’ – these are the things that I spend much of my time on.

tree climber
Photo by Quadrupe

I have to add that my oldest son just walked in the room and asked what I was doing. I read him this question, asked it of him, and he said, “Well, I just do one thing at a time.” So there’s that, too! One foot in front of the other, one task at a time. Trying not to get overwhelmed by all of them together, and frequently reassessing to ‘let go’ of what isn’t going to fit.

SM: Describe your method of homeschooling, in just a sentence or two.

AS: Our style of homeschooling fits under the ‘unschooling’ umbrella, meaning, for us, that we treat the world as our classroom. Our learning happens rather organically, with a combination of following our children’s interests as well as exposing them to new things all the time. I know that’s vague, so if anyone is interested further, I’d recommend reading anything by John Holt as a start!

SM: How would you encourage someone like me, who lives in an urban city of 3 million people, to more fully experience and enjoy nature?

girl in water
Photo by Wesley Satterwhite

AS: My reality is that I’ve only ever lived in a city the size of the one I live in now (the metro Portland area is roughly 230,000), or even smaller (we started our family in a town of 81 residents!), so yes, of course, access to the natural world is easy for us (and a huge part of our decision to live here!). I have to believe that while the effort to find the more ‘natural spots’ is greater in urban areas, also greater would be the reward and importance of doing so. City parks, urban gardening – there is so much nature to enjoy wherever we are.

SM: Why do you advocate children having fewer toys at home?

wood blocks
Photo by Abra

AS: For many reasons, I think “less is more.” I think simple, natural and open-ended toys lead to more imaginative play and creative exploration. I think it’s also a matter of too many toys being overstimulating at times – when you’re spending so much of your time looking for something, or trying to even choose what to play with. Fewer toys doesn’t always have to mean getting rid of things – sometimes just rotating things in and out of a storage area can be helpful. When we see something we haven’t seen in a while, or it’s presented in a new way, we can often find new creative uses for it.

SM: How has creating or crafting helped you to be a better mom?

AS: Creating things nurtures me as a person, and therefore makes me more able to meet my children from a place with more peace and centeredness.

And creating with my children has given me so many amazing opportunities to connect with them, get to really understand them better, and share our family time together in ways that are important to me.

SM: If you could only do one craft for the rest of your life, what would it be?

AS: Oh gosh, that’s impossible to say! I guess if we were including writing as a ‘craft’ (which I do), that would be it without a doubt. Writing feels like breathing to me. But a handcraft? Probably embroidery….a little bit of linen in a hoop with thread and needle is just the perfect little blank canvas.

The Giveaway

the creative family bookThree readers will win a brand new copy of The Creative Family! To be entered, simply comment on this post by answering the following question – What was your favorite thing to play as a child?

To be entered a second time, subscribe to Simple Mom and email me the secret code at the bottom of all the posts. Check here for more info on this, if you’re unsure what I’m referring to. You don’t have to be a new subscriber – anyone who subscribes can email me the code.

Lastly, to be entered a third time, mention this interview and giveaway on your blog, and make sure you link back to me about it in some form.

The contest will be open from today, July 28 until Friday, August 1, midnight EST. Worldwide entries are accepted!

Join the Conversation

Comments

  1. avatar
    Shoshana says:

    I love Soule’s book–it fits my philosophy perfectly! I am actually buying an armoire from craigslist today as an arts cabinet.
    The challenge with less toys is, I find, friends, cousins and grandparents. Lastly, my fave toy growing up was definitely my dollhouse!

  2. avatar
    Brantlee says:

    I was always playing house or school.
    I’m really excited about this book. Sounds like a lot of great ideas.

  3. I loved reading this interview. My sister and I called our favorite activity building “leaf houses”. We would rake the fallen leaves in our yard into floor plans and play in our imaginary house for hours. As the older sister, I always got the master bedroom!

  4. I can think of a few things I loved to do… for one READ- I was (and am) a huge reader, I also loved going camping with my family!
    This book looks awesome, thanks for the interview!

    nicoles last blog post..SuperMarkets & Snacks

  5. When I was a kid, we loved to play anything outside.
    We usually made up games and played them all the time.

    Sally W.s last blog post..not often

  6. This looks like a great read. If I don’t win I will go out and buy one. Thanks for the interview.

  7. I am a true fan of soule mama, she makes me crave creative time with my children. As a child I played many things with my twin sister. I have to say among the top two memories are putting on shows with songs from the Supremes is at the top, with spending many Saturday afternoons in the large downtown library and exploring for hours being second. Thank you, Joanne

  8. Hmm…I remedmber Loving to play house and begging my brother to play with me…it only worked sometimes. But it was so much fun when I could convince him to play house with me and my dolls. :)

    I hope I win! My daughter would LOVE it!

  9. Oh, a notebook and a pencil (sharp). Or scraps of cloth to twist and tie and rubber-band and stitch into clothes for my dolls.

    cindys last blog post..one more thing: two introductions

  10. i loved my art supplies. and i still do. i make sure my kids have lots of art stuff and it’s accessible to them, as well.

    make art every days last blog post..We purged.

  11. My favorite thing to play… I spent a lot of time outside with my friends I remember one summer we tried to build a raft to take down the creek, it didn’t really work but we had a ton of fun. It lasted almost that whole summer!

    Renees last blog post..Reverisble Bird Seed Skirt GIVEAWAY!!!!

  12. What I remember spending huge amounts of time playing was keep things off the floor. My favorite was balloons. I loved the dreamy way that they wafted up when hit, then floated down. I always played this by myself in my room while daydreaming about meeting my most recent book’s characters.

  13. I was actually thinking about this the other day and when I was about nine I used to make all my own yarn dolls (made out of yarn, sort of like corn husk dolls) because I was annoyed that every family had a mom, a dad, a boy and a girl. I wanted to create all different families, ones that represented my friends and the families I know.

    thanks for asking that question

    brits last blog post..Weekend Rundown

  14. My favorite toy was my Chrissy doll. Edie

  15. My favorite thing to play when I was young was with Lincoln Logs. My kids and I still play with the set I had.

  16. I loved playing in the woods and pretending to camp. I had the best times as a kid playing in the many, many acres of woods behind our house!

  17. I loved to “play school” as a child. My mom gave us all kinds of used text books to use, and she set up an entire corner of our playroom as a schoolroom. We took playing school very seriously! My favorite part was giving my little sister “assignments.”

    This book looks amazing, especially because I don’t consider myself a “creative mom” at all. But, I want to be!

    I am already an e-mail subscriber, and I love it.

    Elizabeths last blog post..Just Elizabeth, Please

  18. I loved building things when I was a kid. I had a big box of wood scrap blocks from my grandpa’s workshop that I played with a lot. Later on my sister and I had Legos and I could play with them for days on end.

  19. I loved playing with my Mom’s bags full of fabric remnants. There was pieces big enough to wrap around ourselves and our dolls. My friends and I would pin ourselves into elaborate outfits and do fashion shows.

    Jennie C.s last blog post..This Week’s Masterpieces

  20. As a child, my favorite thing to do was read. I love that my DD loves to read also – we can sit and read stories together for well over an hour!

  21. Such a fascinating lady! My most vivid childhood memory of imagination and playing is having tea parties in my parents Canna garden. They had hundred of bulbs planted on one side of our yard. They were a very tall plant with all colors of flowers! My friends and I would have tea parties right in the center of their flower garden. We even pretended to have tiny fairies as guests. Great memories! Thanks for a wonderful book giveaway contest. Thanks, Cindi

  22. my handsewn mousie was my favorite — i recently posted all about her, and the mousie my mom made for my daughter at

    thanks for the great interview!

    cloth.paper.strings last blog post..gocco noted + giveaway

  23. This is the first time at your blog. I’m looking forward to visiting more!

    My favorite play as a kid? Running outside. I was lucky and grew up in Maine with lots of land to explore. And sheds too. Playing house, in a ‘real’ house in the middle of the woods. Now that’s a good time!

  24. My favorite thing to play– dress up! I hope my kids are so easily entertained.

  25. Ooo…I hope I win. ;o)
    It’s hard to say what my favorite thing was to play, but one of them was making “potions.” My siblings and I would go outside and find all sorts of random things around our yard and in the woods behind our house, then we’d mix, poor, stir, crush rocks into “powder” etc. It kept us busy for hours!

  26. favorite thing to play with when i was a child…oh that is easy! and without a doubt it was our natural surroundings, playing in the willow trees, walking through the prairie finding snakes, climbing our cherry trees and eating cherries looking for the really red ones at the top. these are the things i remember most of all, and not a toy at all.

    WONDERFUL interview, and the most profound help i got was to fill your childrens cup before moving on to an “only mom can do it” task. that is some good advice and totally explains what happened over the weekend.

    thank you Amanda!

  27. A pair of pantyhose and an flower girl’s dress were my favorite things to play with growing up. Sound weird? Well, my sister and I just to take turns being the princess and the hand maiden. When you were the princess you wore the dress and put the pantyhose on your head, the waistband fit like a headband covering your hair and you had really long “hair.” It was so fun, I still can’t put a pair of pantyhose on without a smile!

  28. avatar
    Brittney says:

    I had an older, handicapped sister growing up. She couldn’t walk or communicate with us in any way, so I would always make up games for us. Once I remember setting up all my stuffed animals and music boxes and pretended like we were conducting a symphony; holding a baton in my sister’s hand. Such a blast!

  29. One of my favorite games was a pretend game I played with my sisters in the hemlock hedge at my grandmama’s. We would climb to the top of the hedge and make our homes in the branches. We would use the ground for the bottom story of our homes, using rocks and branches to outline our homes. We made potions and food in old bottles and bowls. The story was never the same, but we were always fully engaged and hours would pass by.

  30. My favorite to play as a child was kick-the-can with all the neighborhood kids during the summer months. We would all gather outside our homes after dark and play until our parents let us.

    Debra Gs last blog post..Boy oh Boy…

  31. I must say that I just loved playing in my garden outside. Digging, planting, watering. It would keep me busy for hours!

  32. How exciting! I gave Amanda’s book to my sister for her birthday without even reading it because I knew it would be good! Now I am hoping for a copy for myself! Thank you for posting a great interview….it helps get my day going in the right direction.
    When I was little, my mom would bring home large quantities of things like butcher paper and paint stirring sticks. We would use the paper to roll out and draw great big houses and the sticks would become the people. We would draw their faces on and add clothes. I believe those activities were so important in shaping who I am. Now I get to have fun doing similar activities with my son and love it!

  33. My favorite thing to do as a kid was jumping in puddles on a rainy day…

  34. avatar
    Tara Davis says:

    Ohhh, I would love, LOVE to win this book! My favorite activities were anything we could play outside. I had a very active imagination and loved to make up new games. From pretenting to be pioneers on a long journey west, to creating an outdoor carnival using only natural elements, to making up imaginary worlds full of interesting animals and fantsiful characters – there was always lots of fun to be had!

  35. avatar
    Crystal says:

    One of many favorite things we would do is make special “stews.” My mom would give us old spices and things like that which had expired, and we’d mix in leaves and dirt and flowers from the yard and make “potions” and things. Then we’d make up the ailment that it healed and someone would have to pretend to have that ailment so we could fix them. Quite fun.

  36. One of my favorite things to do as a child was to draw pictures and create things. I dreamed of being a fashion designer. I would sit for hours and draw pages full of ladies all dressed up in the clothes I designed. I am currently trying to make more time in my life for being creative. I recently discovered your blog and I am enjoying it. Thanks!

  37. We used to dig up carrots from the garden, cut them up, put them in a pot of water with lots of salt and call it Carrot Soup. I don’t know that it was my parent’s favorite game…

    Mrs. Sprinkless last blog post..Bloggy Giveaway!

  38. avatar
    Karen Likens says:

    My favorite activity was playing ‘pioneers’ in the small pine trees on the sand dune near my house (I grew up on the Oregon coast – lucky me!). We would designate certain areas as houses, a fort, etc.

    I loved the interview, so much wisdom and love. the book is sure to be even better.

  39. Hi from The Netherlands,
    Favourite play: making radio programs! With cassette tapes and an old recorder.

    ballees last blog post..babes II

  40. My best friend and I started a business making nests for birds. Yes, we knew our customer – they needed a nest, and we were just the ones to make it for them. We would mash up weeds and mud with bricks and leave the nests on the back fence. We were so pleased when we saw one of our nests up in a nearby tree (her dad put it there…).

  41. avatar
    Sara Hemmeke says:

    My favorite times spent playing with my little sister were simple times – mostly out in the woods around our house, playing hide-n-seek in the pine trees and ferns, collecting fireflies in peanut butter jars, and practicing our tennis backhand on the horseflies. It took a lot to deter them!

  42. I borrowed this book from the library and was so inspired! I was bummed I couldn’t renew it for another two weeks because it was on hold. Argh. I do need my own copy, though, for the great resources to use over and over.

    To answer your question: I spent hours and hours and hours in my grandparents’ woods building forts out of sticks and trees and dirt. I can’t stress this kind of activity enough for my young daughters so we have a nature basket building now while they are too little to create mansions out of twigs. : )

    shawns last blog post..Anything to make them smile

  43. I loved playing town mouse and country mouse with my sister and best friend. One of us would wear the peasant clothes (and the pink play lipstick!) and the other would wear the regal clothes (and the red play lipstick,) and my little sister would have to carry the robes of the fancy “mouse,” -poor kid!
    Thanks for the interview!

  44. avatar
    Julie B. says:

    What a wonderful book! I’d love to do more crafts with my little guy, who’s two, but I’m kind of terrified of the mess we’d end up with :D We pretty much stick to coloring right now, and I’m debating getting some safety scissors.
    One of my favorite creative activities as a child was stringing buttons. My grandmother took every spare button that came with every coat or piece of clothing she ever bought and stored them in a big box. She must have had hundreds of buttons, from little plain black or white buttons to big fancy buttons with rhinestones, or painted buttons. My sister and I would string them to make bracelettes or necklaces, or just big strings of buttons. I’ve started trolling garage and estate sales for interesting buttons to make my own big button box for when my little guy is a bit older.

  45. avatar
    Ashley L says:

    I would so love to win this book! As a child my favorite thing to do was go to my grandparents during the summer to help tend to the garden. I truly have such fond memories of picking tomatoes and okra, gathering up the tilled potatoes, and shelling peas. Ahh, the days when life was at such a slow pace. I long for those days again.

  46. avatar
    terri mac says:

    I loved to make ‘zoos’ out of a cardboard box, a bit of sod, sticks, leaves, flowers, and whatever frogs, toads, snakes, and bugs I could find.

  47. This book sounds great! I was an only child, and spent lots of time pretending. I loved pretending to be a teacher, chef, librarian, and even a check-out person at the grocery store!

  48. avatar
    Bethany says:

    Thanks for doing the interview! Interesting. My favorite thing to play as a child was make-believe . . . pretending I was a teacher, a flight attendant, a mommy, etc…

  49. I so hope I win! I am so excited to start trying to become a more in tune parent and learning how to connect with my kids.
    My favorite thing to play with as a child was my Cabbage Patch doll.

  50. This was a wonderful interview. So inspiring. My favorite thing to play as a child was imaginary explorers. My brother and I would go into the woods behind our house and pretend we lived by the huge rocks and trees out there. We had our own “food” supply and built shelters and so on. I wish my active boy had the same outside freedom as I did – we’re trying to make that happen soon.

  51. One of my favorite indoor pretends was Detective Agency — a little corner “office” between the couch and the wall. And lots of snooping about and writing things on notepads.

    Another favorite was “hot lava”. The universal rules of which are to get from one designated point to another without touching the ground. Lots of climbing on furniture indoors or scooting across the top cross bar of swingsets outdoors.

    Jills last blog post..Pantry, could you be more efficient please?

  52. hmmm….i think my favorite this was nature hunts and then using all those goodies as “materials” for art projects. being a nnay of 6 for over 5 years we spent many a day hunting, walking, looking finding…thne returning home sitting outside for pasting painnting drawing gluin…fun fun!!

  53. I loved playing tag as a kid. We lived in an apartment complex so all the kids would congregate in the courtyard and play tag.

  54. avatar
    CAndice says:

    I have been reading Amanda’s blog since she first started it. Our kids are very similar in age, so it’s always been fun to watch our “sister” family in Maine, while we are here in Colorado… plus I have three boys, so it’s fun to watch would it would be like to have a girl!

    My favorite thing to do as a kid was play school. I’d sit my brother down, the dog, dolls, anything I could get to be the students. I’d always have a list of student’s names so I could take roll. That’s usually as far as the lesson plan would go! Sometimes it turned in to “Fame.” All the students were dancers!

  55. avatar
    Gina Martin says:

    I’d love to win! I have three creative youngsters and need more ideas badly!!!! As a child, I spent hours playing make believe with my brother. We were a king and queen in a castle, pioneers building a cabin, Indians on a hunt, etc! We could improvise anything we needed! Who needs fancy toys!

  56. avatar
    RachelakaMommy says:

    Growing up with 2 sisters and a brother we lived in the trees. We would literally climb up in the morning and not come down until dark. Mom would bring our lunch out to us. Now my three daughters only have little tiny trees were we live, so we make a point of climbing trees every chance we get!

  57. With two older twin brothers and no younger siblings, I played by myself a lot as a child. I loved to invent little worlds of my own in which I could play – such as taking a piece of string and using it to make divisions in a room. In my bedroom for example, I would use string or yarn and divide up the room into sub-rooms, into which I could then place my dolls or small stuffed animals with my handmade items for furniture – like spools for tables. Most of my memories of childhood come from those types of little imaginary worlds. I didn’t have a bad or negative childhood, but both of my parents worked and we had a woman who came in to be paid to watch us after school, and she didn’t play with us, so most of my time was spent discovering what I could do on my own. Now as a homeschooling mom of one little five-year-old girl, I try to explore her own interests and light a wee fire under them so she can explore and soar with someone to cheer her on and participate along with her. I am much blessed. Thank you for sharing the interview and your generous offer.

  58. I loved playing restaurant in the sandbox (er, dirtbox) with my little brother. We served up all kinds of mud concoctions, and one of our neighbors even tried some of our “coffee.”

  59. When I was a kid, I used to love making and finding things from scavenger hunts. My friends and I would take turns hiding toys outside and making clues to find one toy and then the next. We’d always put something extra special at the end – like food or a special toy to play with.

  60. Four square comes to mind. It was a game I played at summer camp. Many fond memories come to mind…bike riding, hide and seek, camping…everything outside!

  61. I loved to play “House,” “Grocery Store” (a friend’s mom would let us take food out of her cabinets to set up in the living room as our store), and “Office.” Anything that made me feel grown up!

    thrilled by the thoughts last blog post..Grandma’s Party

  62. avatar
    Andrea Coblentz says:

    I loved to play house. I loved being the Mommy. Now, I am blessed to be Mommy to 3 wonderful kids. I love being creative in everything I do…. I love doing crafts with my kids and teaching them how to be creative on their own.

  63. My favorite thing as a child was (gulp) pretending to be Madonna and having singing contests with my friends. We would put together dance routines, use anything we could for a microphone and get to it!

  64. wow. i just found your website today through a friend… and it all just speaks to me! I was a art student and really feel it important to incorporate that into my kids daily routine. Thanks for the great interview!
    My favorite thing to play as a child was anything outside… i loved (still love) to explore anything under the sun… lucky for me i had parents who encouraged me coming home late and dirty everyday!

    nicholes last blog post..I am a Foodie! aka. nerd

  65. avatar
    Jennifer says:

    I love Amanda’s blog! Great interview! As a child, my favorite thing to play was “school”. I was always the teacher and my brother was always the “class clown/trouble maker”. Funny the games we play when we are young, because I grew up to be a teacher!

  66. My favorite thing to do was to create stories and let my barbies, dolls and stuffed animals act them out!

    Saras last blog post..Into the Woods

  67. my sister and i love to play “3 ninjas” and “mighty ducks” both inspired from two of our fav movies!

  68. my friends and i would take turns being “teacher”, we would even make up our own lesson plans:)

  69. Great stuff in this post! Crafts are a must in our home and I know I could glean some fabulous ideas through Amanda’s book. My favorite thing to play with as a child? Dolls, hands down. During the summers, my sister and I would play as soon as we woke up until our parents made us go to bed at night. Such fun memories!

  70. My favorite thing to “play” as a child was “The Littles” with my brother. We’d pretend we were little elves scurrying around the house looking for things to do to help my mother. She’s talk loudly to herself about future tasks that she’d like to do next and then she’d find that some Littles had done them for her. She’d leave little treats for the the elves as a thank you. Looking back, I’m sure this was my mother’s favorite game as well.
    I hope to win the book to get ideas for my own family.

  71. Sand! By far it had to be sand. Digging tunnels, making castles, covering up my favorite rocks and my toes. The endless possiblities! My kids love playing in the sand just as I still do. My son even goes one step further and eats it whenever he gets the chance!
    Thanks for the great interview. Amanda Soule is a great inspiration to me and to creativity in our family.

    Dawns last blog post..Saturday at Sugar Camp

  72. avatar
    Christine says:

    I remember my sister and I climbing trees all the time. We had 2 in our front yard that we would spend hours in, pretending that we lived there. Do kids even climb trees anymore? We were a couple of monkeys.

  73. This book looks exciting; I think of myself as being a creative person, but I have a hard time transferring that into my parenting of my two daughters.
    My favorite childhood activity was either reading, or playing some form of house or make believe with my sisters. We played make believe or house everywhere from sitting in our cherry tree in the Summer to playing “interior designer” with paint samples and book “how tos” in our basement.

    Thoras last blog post..A Two Bedroom Townhouse Apartment of My Own

  74. My favorite thing to do as a kid was to play cops and robbers or cowboys and indians with my cousins. It involved hiding in the bushes, climbing trees and running around outside barefoot with waterguns and it was the greatest fun a girl could have… although my mother wasn’t always pleased with my tomboyish antics :)

    Blesseds last blog post..My Little Helper

  75. I would love this book. All of her ideas about “unschooling” and creativity sound great. My favorite thing as a child was climbing the tree in our front yard because one of the branches made a perfect handle to grab. I can’t really remember a specific toy or game, but I loved being outside.

  76. My mom’s an architect. I used to go into her studio, which smelled wonderfully of ink and pencils, and I would go through the drawers, take everything out, and pretend I was the owner of a store that sold pencils, rulers, rubber bands, etc.

  77. I love Amanda’s blog and I’d love to own her book! My siblings and I loved to play outside. I remember many summer (and winter!) days playing “pioneer” – we’d build forts out of sticks, collect berries and leaves for food and have all kinds of adventures (inspired by Laura Ingalls Wilder, I’m sure!)

  78. As a kid, I had two favorite activities, imagination play or hide and seek with my brother and our neighborhood friends, or exploring outside. When I was very little we lived near a woods and a creek and my brother and I would catch crayfish for long hours in the creek. I can still remember the feel of turning over the wet rocks and the delight of finding a crayfish hiding under there!

    Heathers last blog post..Weekdays away…

  79. avatar
    Shannon says:

    I’ve been enjoying Amanda’s blog for some time and really enjoyed her interview here on simplemom!

    As a child, I loved enjoying the great outdoors. Playing games with the neighbor kids, creating “foods” out of leaves, flowers, nuts, twigs and serving in sand box toys, playing house under the huge forsythia, wading in the creek behind our house on a hot summer day. Things things and many more bring back fond memories of a happy and simple childhood.

  80. avatar
    Caroline says:

    I love playing outside with my sister. We lived in the country so we had lots of nature and space to play in and use our imaginations!

  81. avatar
    Celeste says:

    We played lots of imaginary games–I loved playing School, with me as the teacher and my little brother as my student, of course! :)

  82. I loved to play Connect Four. At 5 years old, I was beating most adults. The ones I couldn’t beat, when they weren’t looking, all the chips would “accidentally” fally out! I really enjoy your blog and have been using the Daily Docket. Thanks for entering me.

  83. Hello! Great interview, thank you for sharing. My favourite thing as a child was to play with Pedro, my little donkey-on-wheels. And yes, I still have him, many years later!

    Dianas last blog post..Summertime

  84. When we were younger my Mom would set us up on the outdoor patio with her marble mortar + pestle and an assortment of spices, seasonings, etc. We would grind, mix, and smell as we played the “scientist” in our “experiments”. It was so much fun.

    p.s. I love your blog, it’s a new find for me today.

    JILLs last blog post..{cell phone snaps} empty

  85. My favourite ‘toy’ was our large, somewhat overgrown garden. It provided activities for every mood. Curled up with a book on the branch of my favourite tree. Picking posies for grandma nextdoor or digging holes to China. Building ‘boats’ or anything to keep us afloat while throwing the jucky green stuff (duck weed) at each other. Sleeping out in my own tent my mother made me: a bit scary and glorious at the same time. Stealing grapes and berries long before they ripened, just because you couldn’t wait a minute longer. Ice skating on the pond and building giant snowmen, back then when winters still were cold…

  86. I just loved to be free: to walk in the woods or to the park or around the block alone. I try to encourage my girls to do this, too. We’re lucky enough to live in countries where this is possible for them.
    I’m visiting my mom right now and the old street where dozens of us kids always hung out all summer is virtually empty at all hours, despite the fact that there are more kids living on the street now than there were 30 years ago.

    MamaShifts last blog post..Sweety…

  87. My favorite thing to do when I was a child was to go into the woods behind my house with my brothers and neighbors and create living spaces in the woods. We even got an old door and attempted to paint it (with those tiny brushes) before giving up. We had a living room in one space, a pretend bathroom in another, etc.

    Gardenmamas last blog post..Veggies

  88. I would love a copy of this book!

    My favorite things to play as a child were jewelry store with my grandmother’s costume jewels and a carbon copy receipt book. I also really liked playing adventure barbie in the creek beside my house – they were always being swept downstream or otherwise in danger of mud and rocks.

    Blaynes last blog post..words from Ruth Sawyer

  89. I loved all of those summer night games we would play, like “Ghost in the Graveyard!” So fun!

  90. I loved ths interview and would love to win this book! My favorite thing to play growing up was either tag with all my neighborhood friends, playing Barbies with my friend next door, reading (big time favorite–loved library visits!) and playing “mom” with my babies.

    Irenes last blog post..Mystery Shopping With TrendSource

  91. avatar
    Mackensie says:

    Thanks for organizing this giveaway. I’ve been watching this book on Amazon – but have been waiting for a sale or used copy.

    My favorite play activity has to be “horseback riding” – of course the horse was a golden retriever, named Shannon.

  92. I was (and still am) a solitary child–I had brothers, but they didn’t want to play with their sister and the neighbor girls were not a lot of fun, either–so most of my games were for a single player. The game I played most often was to immerse myself in whatever book I was reading and become, as fully as I could, my favorite character. I’ve been Pippi Longstocking, Jo March, Laura Ingalls, Caddie Woodlawn–the list goes on and on. I’m almost through re-reading the Little House books now and still long to be Laura . . .

  93. i loved family game night growing up. every Friday night we would have pizza and play board games all night. it was so much fun to stay up late and giggle over who was loosing and who was winning….

    emilys last blog post..now i know why….

  94. I really enjoyed this interview with Amanda, she is a very lovely person. I loved playing teacher or any sort of role playing/imagination as a child.

  95. As cliche as it may sound, I loved playing house when I was little. My sisters were quite a bit older than me and never wanted to play with their little sister, but my cousin and I would play all the time. She’d bring her dolls over and we’d have a blast! Good times…

    Jennae @ Green Your Decors last blog post..Green Rooms in a Box Series: Fresh, Colorful Bedroom Under $2500

  96. avatar
    Melissa says:

    Sounds like a great book! My favorite game as a child was to play “Lost” with my brother and friend. We would forage around the back yard to find food and supplies to survive until my mom “found” us and called us inside.

  97. When I was a little girl, my cousins and I used to play “Tornado” which is where we would hold hands and spin in a circle until we broke apart and then would pretend that we woke up in a new far away land.

    Basically a game of make-believe, but I think there was a summer where we played it every day until we heard the ice cream truck come by.

    Thank you for this wonderful interview. As mother to be there are so many questions and concerns about what kind of mom I want to be and so many expecatations to meet and possibly not meet. Your blog and this interview are a well needed reminder to remember what is most important–being in the moment with your child.

    Leslies last blog post..Tasha Tudor

  98. My favorite thing to play as a little girl was mud bakery. We had an old porch behind our garage that was sunny and warm and I would set all freshly made creations to “bake”.

  99. avatar
    saunaknitter says:

    The memory that first comes to mind is playing in the woods with my sisters. We would often play “house” finding the spots where the trees were just so, making rooms & furniture easy to imagine. A big green mossy patch was the bedroom. We were always “cooking” soups of water, acorns, inedible berries, etc. We thought that the decaying wood of fallen trees looked just like chicken.

    This is my first time to this blog and I am definately signing up, so I can read more…and for another chance to win:)

    Thanks!

  100. I loved playing in my kitchen and making “chicken and wice.” My daddy built my kitchen and for my daughter’s 2nd birthday he renovated it and now it is hers. She loves it as much as I did.

    Pick me!

    Kellys last blog post..Here we go!