Asia Citro of Fun at Home with Kids has compiled a fantastic new book, and it couldn’t have come at a better time!
With one little kindergartener home from school with a cough, we were in that “too-sick-for-school but feeling-to-good-to-just-rest” spot. Even my five year old has his limits when it comes to how many episodes of Backyardigans he can take in one day. Luckily for us, Asia’s book, 150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids (*affiliate link) was sitting on our kitchen counter.
JM Barrie’s Peter Pan has always been one of my favorite stories. As a child I was mesmerized by Mary Martin’s stage performance, and, as an early reader, the book was one of the first “literary classics” I read. I loved it all. The flying, the pirates, the adventure, the humor. I wanted to BE Peter Pan.
Last night, I went with one of my sons to watch a stage production of Peter Pan. Watching him take in the show was the highlight of my night. The way his eyes lit up as the crocodile slithered onto stage. His whisper as he asked if Peter Pan would really drink the poison Captain Hook left for him. The treasured moment when he showed he believed in fairies by enthusiastically adding his claps to the audience’s to bring Tinkerbell back to life.
Afterwards, I told him how much I loved the story of Peter Pan as a child. I told him I once tried to catch a fairy by setting a sparkly, sticky trap, knowing that if I could just get some fairy dust I might be able to fly. I listened as he planned out loud, adding his 21st Century revisions to my simplistic fairy trap. (It was a much better design after adding cameras, robotic arms, and sparkle-sensors.)
As I drove home I thought of how much that night resembled the last scene in Peter Pan. Only moments before, Wendy returns home from Neverland. With one quick scene change, Peter arrives at the nursery to find Wendy a grown woman, her own child sleeping nearby. While Peter never did grow up, Wendy has, so her daughter takes her place in the next adventure in Neverland.
While I so vividly remember my childhood fascination with the story of Peter Pan, I am now “ever so much more than twenty” and, like Wendy, I find myself passing the treasured tale on to my own children.
And though I may try to make them promise they won’t grow up, it all seems to happen in the blink of an eye. One simple scene change. Continue reading
I noticed my 2 1/2 year old walking around the back yard the other day with a small rectangular rock nestled in the palm of his hand. I watched as he excitedly moved it around as he energetically bounded around the lawn, obviously in his own world. I wondered where his imagination had taken him. Then I heard the giveaway: “Boop! Boop!” He was holding the rock out, extending his arm toward a ride along car in the yard. “My boop-boop!” He said as he looked up with a huge grin of satisfaction, having clearly just set the alarm on his toy car with his own personal key fob.
“We’re building a home up the street.”
It felt like a lie to give that explanation over and over to the strangers who have become our new friends, because for the longest time, the truth was that nothing was being built.
I read a fascinating book this summer. (And by read, I once again mean that I listened on Audible.) So fascinating, in fact, that I keep thinking and talking about it months later.
The Smartest Kids in the World: And How They Got That Way* by investigative journalist Amanda Ripley, seemed to take many of the things we argue over on the topic of education in the United States, and turned it all on its head. (*Affiliate link.)
You’ve likely seen the video by now. (It’s inching toward one million views.) The toddler with those sweet cheeks lights up as the experimenter passes the toy across the table. The toddler plays with the parts as he’s seen the experimenter do. His eyes are wide, his smile even wider. Then the “emoter” comes in.