Gift Ideas for Parents: My Favorite Books from 2011 (and my wish list)

The following is by editor Kara Fleck.

It is getting to be that time of year again, when lists are made and checked twice and things are starting to look a little bit merrier and brighter.

This year, I”ll be sharing some of my favorite picks for kids in the coming weeks, but today I wanted to focus on gifts for a special group of grown ups, specifically, my favorite books from 2011 for parents.

If you”re on my Christmas list, and you know who you are, no peeking past this point, okay?

Here are three of my favorite books for parents that have been released this past year:

1.  Made To Play!

One of my favorite websites is Joel Henriques” Made by Joel, especially the paper cities, so I was pretty excited for his book .  With paper, wood, and fabric and the 35 projects in this book, you and your kids are all set for fun.

I love that the projects in this book are simple to create, made with materials you probably already have around the house, and encourage imagination.

I also think it is pretty great that this is the kind of book that my husband and I can use to create toys for our kids, or we can also hand it over to our ten year old who loves to create for herself and her siblings, too.

2. The Rhythm of Family

The Rhythm of Family: Discovering a Sense of Wonder Through the Seasons has a little bit of something for every parent, I think.  From crafting projects to kitchen projects to the beautiful, thought provoking seasonal essays written by parents Amanda and Stephen Soule, this book is a gentle invitation to slow down, enjoy your kids, and each season of the year and of life.

You can read a review of The Rhythm of Family that I wrote earlier this year here.

3. Playful Learning

Written by Mariah Bruehl, who is a Simple Kids contributor, is the third book that I”ll be giving the parents on my gift list this year.

I’ll admit that I’m a little biased because I think quite highly of Mariah, but I truly think this is one of those books that belongs on every parent’s bookshelf.  I have been reading my copy and making notes likes crazy, and making some changes here and there around the house, getting so many new ideas and inspiration from her.

On My Wish List

What books are on my wish list this year?  Well, Santa, if you”re reading this, I wouldn”t mind finding copies of these books under the tree:

What titles are on your list of favorite new books from the past year? Will you be giving any books? Asking for any for yourself?

About Kara

Kara Fleck is the editor of Simple Kids. She is a small town mama, writer, knitter, bookworm, and hooligan. Kara lives in Indiana with her husband Christopher and their four children Jillian, Max, Lucy, and Amelia. You can find more of her writing at

Online Knitting Class
Delightful kids' crafts delivered to your door!  See sample crates>>


  1. I **love** Make Stuff Together. Fantastic book!!!!

  2. thanks for this list! i have plenty of parents on the list i was unsure of what to get. :)
    Heather´s latest post: Holiday Comforts #clevercomforts #spon

  3. Those three books are fantastic and are also on my wish list!
    Amanda’s other two books are excellent as well!
    We’ll be buying my MIL the cookbook “refresh” by Ruth Tal and Jennifer Houston, every recipe has been a hit at our house!
    ~ joey ~
    ~ joey ~´s latest post: looking back: past waldorf christmas fairs


  1. […] From Simple Kids editor Kara Fleck:  Gift Ideas for Parents: My Favorite Books from 2011 (and my wish list) […]

  2. […] of 2011 Real Simple’s Best Books to Give As Gifts San Francisco Chronicle’s Best Art Books Simple Kids’ Favorite Books for Parents 2011 Slate’s Best Books of 2011 Suvudu’s Best of 2011 Telegraph’s Books of the Year 2011: Fiction […]

  3. […] my list of favorite books for parents from 2011 […]

Share Your Thoughts


We prefer humans! *

CommentLuv badge