Magic Wands & Books of Spells with Imagine Childhood

If there was ever an object that is a direct tie to the world of magic, it’s a wand. Simple or ornate, it makes no difference; the purpose is the same: to transform the world of imagination into reality, to make tangible objects out of dreams and wishes.

– Sarah Olmsted, Imagine Childhood: 25 Projects That Spark Curiosity and Adventure.

When my publisher (Roost Books) reached out and asked if I would be interested in taking a sneak peek at Sarah Olmsted’s new book, Imagine Childhood: 25 Projects That Spark Curiosity and Adventure, I jumped at the chance. I have been a fan of Sarah’s shop and blog for many years now, and was eager to see what she had to share in her book.

After spending time perusing the beautiful photos and whimsical projects, we decided to try our hand at creating homemade magic wands.

It was a rainy day, so we did not venture out for a walk to collect fresh materials, which would be ideal. Yet, we were delighted to tap into our collection of sticks, flowers, leaves, and shells, that we have gathered over the years. I put together a simple tray full of enticing materials and invited them create their very own magic wands.

One of the first questions they asked was, “What will the magic wands do?” My response was, “whatever you want them to do.” Then they asked, “but what kind of magic will they have?” To that question I answered, “whatever power you give them.” At that point I saw eyebrows raised and their hands starting to get busy making magic…

One aspect of Sarah’s book that is so appealing is that she provides a lot of little doses of inspiration, while leaving the end results open-ended. This provides children with the opportunity to let the experience carry them wherever their hearts, minds, or interests may lead.

The girls both decided to make a book of spells that they would cast with their newly created wands. My youngest daughter’s consisted of being an older sister, flying like a bird and being invisible; while my oldest daughter envisioned turning grey skies to blue.

It was a great experience and I really enjoyed seeing the girls tap into their imaginations to engage in some creative writing.

Magic Wands + Books of Spells with Imagine Childhood

We decided to keep the wands out in our family room for a bit—because we can all use a little dose of magic every now and then…

Sarah and Roost Books have graciously offered one Playful Learning reader the opportunity to win their very own copy of Imagine Childhood: 25 Projects That Spark Curiosity and Adventure.

Congratulations to Laura who wrote, “What fun! Would love the book.”

Make sure to visit the other lovely stops on the Imagine Childhood Blog Tour…


With over 10 years of EDU experience and a growing family, Mariah started Playful Learning in 2008 as a resource for parents and teachers. In 2010 Playful Learning received the Parent’s Choice Gold Medal, and in August of 2011, Shambhala Publications released her first book, Playful Learning: Develop Your Child’s Sense of Joy and Wonder. Mariah has an M.S. Ed in Elementary Education and was that girl sitting in the back of class thinking about what she would do differently if she was the teacher. Now she is happily working with a team of gifted educators to bring life-changing lessons to children, families, and schools around the world. In her free time she can be found taking long walks, enjoying a cup of tea, or swimming in the Atlantic with her husband and two daughters.



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  1. I love those magic wands!! What a creative idea!  I think if I don’t win, this book just might end up under the tree this year anyway. THanks for the chance!

  2. This looks like an activity that would fit my sons request for a writing activity that isn’t boring or too long:) Look forward to trying it today!

  3. I have had my eye on Sarah’s book for a while, so I would love to win a copy! In the meantime I’m going to share your blogpost with the kids, they would love this project! I especially like the crystal wrapped on the tip! ;o)
    ~ joey ~

  4. Oh my goodness………..I’m already in love with this book. Not only for children but for adults. We can all do with keeping the light of a child burning bight in all of us. It is always the simple things in life that give us so much JOY. I would love a copy of this book…..but whoever gets the book I wish you JOY………….fondly …… dolores

  5. Even my two year old is enjoying playing with magic wands. . .we’ll definitely be making our own very soon! Thanks for the idea!

  6. I was just looking for a wand for my son’s friend’s birthday. I’m going to do this for her instead! Plus maybe give her a kit to make another in hre own unique way. Thanks for the idea.

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