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I can still remember, as if it were yesterday, the lazy afternoons I spent as a child thumbing through the well-worn pages of the Childcraft anthology’s ninth volume, Make and Do. Carved soap turtles, refrigerator box submarines . . . The book provided the key to a brave new world where ordinary things could be turned into something extraordinary. I would come home from school and immediately hunt for the book, often ﬁnding it on the ﬂoor in the corner of my room, next to the ﬂashlight I’d used to read it the night before, or under the kitchen table. The only place you could guarantee I wouldn’t ﬁnd it was on a bookshelf. But isn’t that true of all great books? Make and Do wasn’t just a book; it was a constant companion.
The Handmade Charlotte Playbook is intended to be just such a companion. The supplies you’ll need are inexpensive, readily available, and easy to ﬁnd. The step-by- step instructions are easy to follow, but you can also modify them to ﬁt the particular supplies you have on hand or your own creative vision. The objective is for you to achieve a sense of happiness when you’re making our crafts with your family. The privilege of getting this behind-the-scenes look at our children’s ingenuity is pure gold. Not only do we gain insight and perspective from their boundless creativity, we learn who they are, what’s on their minds, and what issues they might be grappling with. We play together, learn together, grow together. And together, we experience a rewarding sense of accomplishment—in this case, from working on activities where the emphasis is on fun, and perfection is not the goal.
Keep this playbook on your kitchen table, not tucked away on a bookshelf. A quick ﬂip through its pages can inspire a new creative journey. Use it as a starting point to intuitively construct your own serendipitous experiences. And remember, perfection is not the point. It’s about childlike exploration, not a preconceived notion of excellence.
Now let’s start exploring!