Everything from blocks to alphabet cards have been designed to organically introduce babies and toddlers to the works of great artists, engineers, and architects. But as kids get older, introducing them to prominent creative types gets a little trickier. After all, who wants to make their kids feel like they are going to school during the hours they have at home? The revised and expanded edition of Frank Lloyd Wright for Kids: His Life and Ideas is a creative and fun way for kids to read about and experience hands-on the genius of an American architect and dreamer. Through well-organized chapters and observational and active lessons, kids will learn the basics behind Lloyd Wright’s life and become inspired to create in a multitude of ways.
The story of Lloyd Wright’s interesting and occasionally controversial life and travels is best suited for older kids (7 and up), although the entire book is written in an approachable way and with plenty of enticing details and insights. The 21 activities, however, span a huge range of ages. From identifying basic geometric shapes to building a model of the famed home Fallingwater with graham crackers, children will love learning about architecture and design through these creative activities. With directions for making a winter festival complete with geometric shape cookies as well as growing a plant from seed, the book offers numerous projects that allow the family to use materials from around the house or to become more involved in a project using less common media such as making a textile block from plaster. Kids can even begin to point out styles of architecture around their neighborhood or look for famous examples of Lloyd Wright’s designs, such as the Guggenheim museum.
Lloyd Wright was greatly inspired by nature and by geometry. His evolving methods of creating buildings and homes demonstrate how he blended these two influences in organic ways. Frank Lloyd Wright for Kids does an impressive job of showing Lloyd Wright’s process, his own influences, how his style changed and why, and the reasons he made certain stylistic and architectural choices.
Lloyd Wright was a visionary in the way that he rethought the dwellings of his time, and his unconventional professional path can serve as a model to young ones that seeing the world differently can be a wonderful asset.
In a career that spanned 70 years and included more than 400 projects (including a triangular doghouse designed after the shape of the dog owner’s home), Lloyd Wright changed his style and views and created inventive and unique structures for private home owners, public spaces, museums, and businesses. From how his early exposure to shapes through a set of blocks influenced his entire career, to the way that he tried to mirror the wonder of nature in the homes he built, Lloyd Wright’s story is compelling and one from which both kids and their parents can learn. Frank Lloyd Wright for Kids offers much more than a glimpse into this architect’s life, and the included photos, activities, and stories make the book a pleasure to read and a delight to bring to life.