Before I begin, I feel as though I need to tell you that I have Amanda Soule's first two books, The Creative Family and Handmade Home. I read her very popular blog, Soulemama, and had high expectations for this, her third book. And I wasn't disappointed. So here's my warning: I'm about to gush.
The tone of The Rhythm of Family is much like Amanda's blog: calm and gentle. What I particularly love about this book is that it’s organized by the months of the year. Each month's pages open with brief, mindful reflections of parenting through the seasons in essays from Amanda and her husband Stephen. It's a lovely way to set the tone for the month's activities.
And oh, the activities! Along with the essays, there is a "Make" and "Do" for each month: hands-on ways to celebrate the season with little ones. From a recipe for bug spray in July, to nature stamping in October, each is a nature-inspired, seasonal way to create through the ebb and flow of the year.
My four-year-old son Phillip and I made the Flower Essence Lotion on page 97 as soon as we opened the book. He jumped right up and asked if we could make it RIGHT NOW. Of course, we did.
I love that the book isn't constrained to a particular genre of creativity; there's simple sewing, body care recipes, "crafty crafts," and recipes, too. Each activity is appropriate for the month it is coupled with, but many of them could easily be done at other times of the year. The Rhythm of Family is an encouragement to embrace our long winter months, rather than just gritting your teeth to get through. And a reminder to cherish those fleeting summer days, too. This will be one of those books that will stay on the shelf in my living room, waiting for one of us to look around and say, "Hmmm... I wonder what we should do today?"
Intrigued? Click through to preview the book!