Gifts For Kids – Imaginative Play

Gifts For Kids – Imaginative Play

I am big advocate for creative and imaginative play. I think kids should be allowed to be kids and child-like for much longer than the majority of society deems acceptable.

I wasn’t always like this. When I first became a mom, I thought I would be a hard-nose, academically focused kind of mom. Then I saw my kids thrive and flourish in nature, with open play, with creative prompts and I realized that my kids are creative; most (if not all kids) are creative.

I think it will benefit the child in the long run, academically, if they are allowed to play longer in their early years. This is not meant to be a rant or a shaming of parents who don’t agree at all. I just think play is good and it’s even better with great toys that are easy on the eye.

Here are some of my favorite toys for creative play this holiday season.

Dress Up Cape – Every kid loves a good cape and they feed into so many good story lines for kids to act out on their own or with a sibling or friend. Both my kids have multiple capes of their own but this one is just beautiful.

Hazel The Deer – Stuffies are a staple in childhood. They are great for snuggles and road trips but also for acting out stories!

Victorian Doll House – This is the doll house of my dreams. No offense to Barbie but that giant pink, plastic, doll house of my childhood is an eye sore. I would have no problem with this beauty in my home. I may even let Milly play with it in other rooms besides her bedroom. 🙂

Explorer Play Kit – If you have a curious child who thrives in outside play prompts, this is the gift that will make a big splash. It includes binoculars, a pocket compass and a bunch of other goodies that any adventurer will love.

Four-Stage Rocket Ship – If you have a space lover on your hands, this will feed right into that desire during play time. Oh, how far the imagination will go when it can get all the way to outer space!

Workbench – If you are a DIY/handy family, this would be a great way to get the kiddos involved without putting an actual hammer in their hand! Don’t get me wrong, my mom has already taught RJ how to use a hammer. Supervised use of real tools is great but if you want to take a more hands-off approach, this is a great option!

Gourmet Grill – This toy is sure to put your kid on the right track to outdoor grilling. Living in Texas, this is a mandatory part of life. All you’d need is a griller’s apron and you’re cooking.

Wooden Camera w/ Kaleidoscope Lens – My kids are always grabbing my camera so i figure this wooden one would make them really happy. They love a good kaleidoscope and, what’s better, I get to keep my camera for myself!

Mars Mission Space Playhouse – If your kids room is big enough for a playhouse, I say ‘Go For It!’ Milly and RJ are always building forts and playing under the beds; that’s because kids love creating their own worlds. Why not cut out the process of turning a room upside down with sheets and blankets and offer up a beautiful playhouse like this one?!

Unicorn Hand Puppet – A unicorn puppet? I mean….there isn’t much to say besides, I. LOVE. IT.

Animal Adoption Set – This is for all the animal whisperers out there. Milly loves caring for her animals; stuffed and real, alike. At this point, she wants to be a vet so this present is a no brainer.

Paper Doll Kit – Paper dolls are so old school but such a perfect childhood play thing. These from Of Unusual Kind are gorgeous and high quality.

Nesting Dolls – Another toy that carries a lot of nostalgia. These are gorgeous and modern and are a great open-play toy. And when they aren’t being played with, keep them on out your baby’s window ledge and enjoy the view.

Happy Shopping!

-Ashly

Mom-life Lately

Mom-life Lately

We have finally gotten a month in of a day-to-day that resembles a routine. Yay us! In July we bought our house, in August we went on a three-week vacation to Puerto Rico and it was amazing. September was a little less eventful and that was perfect. We focused on digging into our homeschooling plan and enjoying the mid-80s weather. It’s not really Fall here in Texas but it’s not quite hot anymore and we are soaking it up.

I’m really feeling like a city-dweller again and I’m enjoying myself. I’m not going to lie, I miss Marshall and the country side. Part of me still mourns our little country-side lifestyle that never really got off of the ground. That’s how things roll. Sometimes things take you by surprise and change.

Now we are in San Antonio, reacquainting ourselves with all the new sights and eats and experiences that have sprung up since the last time I lived here in 2011; back when Red and I were long-distance dating and I had moved back home after undergrad.

San Antonio is really buzzing! The city is rebuilding some of my most beloved areas; the neighborhoods where most of my childhood memories are rooted. It’s been so wonderful relearning the Eastside and Downtown.

The kids are flying through their curriculum faster than expected and I’m trying to figure out what we are going to move onto next. I’m a proud mama bird.

I have to say, I’m pretty proud of myself for the way I am able to bounce back in the situations that have surrounded our lives. What with my anxiety and structured nature, it would be easy for me to be paralyzed by the whirlwind that has become my life over the past year. There have been days that I sink into myself and become overly stressed and anxious, yes, but my kids…..they are the anchor that keeps me going. Their bright personalities and adorable belly laughs; it really is magic. They are not just a “quick fix” to my worries, they literally make things better…without even trying.

I think that it is pretty common to feel a loss of individuality when you transition from independent individual to motherhood. I have absolutely felt that loss in more ways than one but, let me tell you, the other side of that coin is so good. I am so fulfilled in being RJ and Milly’s mommy.

Until Next Time.

-Ashly

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