Several weeks ago I volunteered to review a book. Mind you I've never done such a thing, but just the title alone was enough to want my attention. I was so excited when I received my copy of Naturally Fun Parties for Kids by Anni Daulter with Heather Fontenot yesterday. I put the little boys down for a nap, the big boys had quiet time in their room and the girls had some independent reading time (a usual mid day routine for us). Mom gets to sit down and read a bit too ; ) I cuddled in my favorite chair with this book and a cup of my favorite Chocolate Raspberry Tea.
The photography is just lovely. I opened to the first chapter and there was a huge smile on my face. The very first party is none other than an Egg-Dyeing Spring Garden Party. Now, how perfect is that with our current nature study theme and season. The ladies at 4Real have been discussing and sharing ideas on this very subject: Egg Dyeing. Oh, this is a book for me; was my immediate thought. The book is divided by seasons and gives just a bit of information about them, nothing deep, just a reminder of seasonal changes and their important solstice/equinox dates...another plus. Within each season there are several party ideas. The first page of every party is detailed with a list of Projects & Materials and a Timeline needed for the event planning (perfect, for this list kind of gal). Several pages follow each party introduction with gorgeous photos and detailed how-to's. Each project or recipe could easily stand alone depending on what we are working on or where our nature study takes us.
There are so many possibilities for fun projects and kid friendly recipes in this book. While the title does say parties, let's face it, with my six children every project becomes an event with craft and food at the forefront. Not to mention getting together with friends for play dates ... yeah, those easily could become parties too. I loved going through the book and nodding my head at just how much our lives have naturally flowed through the seasons with our habits of nature study and out of doors time. My wheels are certainly turning. There is a Pancake P.J. and a Strawberry-Picking & Jam Making theme parties with some great recipes to use after our annual strawberry and blueberry picking days. Besides the recipes there are several projects and game ideas that I know the kids will enjoy trying. There is Sea Glass Hunt for our beach days and a Gratitude Treasure Hunt perfect for Thanksgiving. Simple crafts like cute banners we could make for our nature table window; I'm sure my kids would like a break from my crochet inspired ones ; )
I'm not the most naturally creative person or fine cook in the world but I can easily be inspired to create an atmosphere my children will enjoy a living education from. I depend on books such as this one. I think for some of my readers I should mention that there is no reference to educational philosophies just fun natural upcycled ideas and healthy recipes. I'd add further that this book reminds me very much of Alice Cantrell's books (all of which are favorites for me). I never thought that my chaotic care-free children would enjoy sipping tea with me but thanks to creative work's like Alice's Tea and Cakes with the Saints as our guide; the kids love our Liturgical Teas and we have learned so much about saints.
I know this book will get just as much use for our seasonal nature study focused planning fun and, of course, my chaotic care-free children will love that much of this will be done out doors. Anni and Heather just made sure that our "small mountain in the backyard" get lots of use with their wonderful ideas. I'm sure some of my future post will reflect things from this book. This is a review I've enjoyed giving you!