"The topography of childhood is in a constant state of transformation.
Maps can mark these changes. Maps are made to remember how to get
back to important places, and childhood deserves a good map."
~ Sarah Olmsted, Imagine Childhood
Before I'd even read a word of it, I knew I'd love Imagine Childhood, Exploring the World Through Nature, Imagination, and Play, by Sarah Olmsted, co-creator of the blog and store of the same name. I was captivated by the book's images, which seemed to perfectly reflect the magic of both nature and childhood. I was enchanted by the names of the projects and activities, such as Boats for Sailing Imaginary Seas, Wishing Kite, and Magic Lantern. And when I began reading, I was equally delighted! Sarah's heartfelt prose transported me back to the world of childhood. She offers 25 invitations to create and adventure alongside your children, as well as inspiration and encouragement to explore the world through the eyes of a child. Imagine Childhood truly celebrates being a kid, and speaks to any parent interested in nurturing a child's imagination, and preserving the spirit of this special time! Take a peek inside the book here, and read on for a chance to win your own copy.
Mapping our Home
Inspired by a section in Imagine Childhood titled Adventures in Cartography: Making Your Own Maps, I invited my gals to create their own maps one afternoon. After some discussion on different types and forms of maps, both decided to map our home on a square of plain, white cotton muslin. They were super-enthusiastic and dove right into their cartography work, using fabric markers and paints, each working to reflect their individual perspective of our space.
This project, like several others in the book, is simply intended to serve as a stepping-off point that sparks curiosity and creativity. There are no step-by-step instructions, just guidance and inspiration (although many of the book's other projects are detailed tutorials). I followed in the same spirit, and let my girls create in any way they wished. I love what transpired... Sage wanted a compass, so we explored direction in relation to our home. Selby wanted her map to look aged, so we experimented dying it in tea. Once complete, we sewed a small ribbon to one end, so it could be rolled up and tied shut.
It was fascinating to see how the girls mapped out our home. Both included their rooms, the backyard play space, and our garden. Selby placed our home in Fairy Land, which included a Fairy Palace and Misty Mountain. And Sage's turned into a treasure map, used by all to find a hidden pumpkin in her room. She was so excited by the project, she spent the rest of the evening creating a spotting scope from an empty paper towel tube, to accompany her treasure mapping adventures!
Would you like to explore map making with your family? Sarah has provided a free PDF of Adventures in Cartography: Making Your Own Maps from Imagine Childhood! (Click link to download.)
And there's more... Sarah is also giving away a copy of her book to one lucky reader!
comment on this post for a chance to win; stop by and like
A Natural Nester on
Facebook for another chance (be sure to leave another comment here and
let me know). While you're at it, like Imagine Childhood too (again, leave a separate comment here to
let me know) for yet another chance at winning. A winner will be
announced next Friday, October 4th.
Congratulations to Marcela at Naturally Fun Days, you won!