“When I was busy they would take out . . . a ‘busy book,’ in which they could employ themselves in writing lists of birds, flowers, makes of cars, or any other things which interested them.” Dora Saint, known by many as Miss Read, gives a thought-provoking glimpse into the English country classroom in her book, “Village School,” based on her experiences as a teacher in the 1930s and 1940s.
Busy books. What a delightful way to engage a child with pencil and paper! Artist Katie Daisy of Bend, Oregon, understands the importance of these seemingly old-fashioned tools: “We have so many screens in front of us . . . that I worry we’re weakening our ability to be creative and take pause. I believe that when you’re actually holding a book, journal, or planner in your hands and using a pen to paper, magic happens and a creative spark is lit.”
In this increasingly digital world, let’s help fan that magical, creative spark, using our kids’ interests and pursuits to prompt delight. This month I bring you the ABCs of Busy Books: 26 ways to use notebooks to inspire pencil-and-paper creativity in your child.
Ready to get “busy” yourself? Recently released, “This Life of Mine” by Pacific Northwest author Anne Phyfe Palmer (Sasquatch Books, 2019), is a wonderfully guided journal, perfect for adults who want to record their personal history but aren’t sure where to start. Simple illustrations accompany plenty of room to write about Family, Love, Body, Expression, Purpose and more.