Imagine Childhood is a lovely blog and children’s store that I have followed for years. I look forward to the change of seasons, so I can flip through a new lookbook on their website. I have long found the lookbooks inspiring and re-energizing. Even though Olmsted released this book several years ago, I didn’t notice it until this falls Christmas shopping. We picked up a signed copy as a Christmas gift for our 6-year-old and I am glad we did.
I both read the book cover to cover and spent several hours opening up to various pages with my 6-year-old, to learn about the projects and read her excerpts. This is a book you can open up and read from nearly any page. You can then make a list, gather supplies and tackle a project, at a level accessible to nearly everyone. Throughout the book, Olmsted paints a picture of how her childhood was, and what childhood is, and gives ways to extend that childhood to yourself and your own children. There are several levels to each project, giving instructions on how to go beyond the basics, or just stick to the basics.
The projects are most often jumping off points for your child, a toolkit to allow them to go outdoors and make a story, or a game, or a world of their own. This is a book I plan to keep on my shelves for several years to come.