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    News — Children's product

    Storytelling

    Storytelling

    Storytelling encourages and stirs a child’s imagination, while also calming their bodies.

    The wonderful thing about storytelling is the endless possibilities and adventures that can be created with your words and in a child’s mind. This magical listening experience keeps children entertained in a smart, screen-free way! (I know we are always looking for those!) And while you might not see yourself as a natural storyteller, children can be our least discerning of audiences, often captivated by the simplest or silliest of stories. Here are some tips to bring out the storyteller in yourself:

     

    1. Make your child the lead or best supporting actor in the story! Maybe your story starts with your child and her favorite super-dog, Bugsy. Children get a kick out of imagining themselves or the characters they know in the story. 

     

    2. Keep it simple. Story-time is often used for the purpose of unwind or signaling bedtime. Your stories can be a single event or account but just make sure to give a few details that children are familiar with like color, shape, or animal.  “Once upon a time there was a happy purple fish named Bob. He was very hungry so he went the the market to buy some food. That is when he bumped into a goldfish named Shirley. She was new to town. Bob and Shirley became great friends.” That simple! 

     

    3. If fantasy doesn’t fly off your tongue, use stories you already know or possibly non-fiction from your own life or family! If the Three Little Bears is the story you know best, tell it! Children love familiarity and being able to predict and know what happens next.

     

    4. Ask your child to participate—filling in details or deciding what happened next! Did the Unicorn go into the forest or to the mall? This is opportunity to encourage their creativity or confidence. 

     

    So next time find yourself with your little one in quiet waiting room, or a too long airplane, or bedside, tell a story! 

     

    Natalie 

     

    Who Am I?

    Who Am I?

    Did you know that by reading and telling stories, children begin to tackle some of life’s big questions: who are we and how did we come to be? 

    In the playroom and in social settings, children begin to develop their identity through storytelling. Children often recount meaningful life experiences and events that both define and excite them. One of my daughter Louise’s favorite stories to tell is of the day we ran into a friend at the mall and then later at the beach. “It was craziest day ever!” This wonderful form of self-expression and communication helps children begin to manage their self-identity. 

    But where does story-telling all begin?

    One of the most valuable ways in which children begin to understand storytelling and story structure is by being read to by their parents, caretakers and teachers. Fairy tales are full of moral obligations, what is right and wrong, this where children begin to gain feeling of conscious and therefore self-worth. Fairy tales are also filled with enchantment and wonder, painting an imaginative world where a child is able to look inward and identify their own feelings and emotions. Ask your child: Why did that story make you so happy? 

    Here are some of my favorite children’s books: 

    Raise Your Hand by Alice Tapper

    This book encourages girls to be brave, to be bold, and to participate! We must note that Alice Tapper was only 11 years old when she penned this beautiful book! 

     

    Stand in my shoes Kids Learning About Empathy by Bob Sornson, Ph.D. 

    This book introduces the concept of empathy and noticing the feelings of others. Do we need to say more!? 

    Moody Cow Meditates by Kerri Lee MacLean

    Kids can meditate too! This is a wonderful book for children and parents to share together and discuss the concept of mindfulness.  

    What Do You Do With an Idea? By Kobi Yamada

    Wow! Do we love this book! When we were developing Snickerdoos, we felt like we were going through all the same emotions as the lead character in What Do You Do With an Idea? From toddlers to adults, it can be scary to share our ideas and feelings; and Yamada beautifully helps to illustrate that is completely normal! 

    And of course, you know my favorite costumes for supporting and enhancing a child’s story-telling: Snickerdoos! 

     

     

     

    BENEFITS OF DRESS UP (Hint: it’s not just preparing your child for the stage)

    BENEFITS OF DRESS UP (Hint: it’s not just preparing your child for the stage)

    When I decided to create a new costume line for children, I knew two things—that I wanted to make dress up more comfortable, and that I wanted to cultivate children’s natural curiosity about real world characters and heroes. What I didn’t know was the multitude of benefits that dress up can offer a child: from supporting their confidence and joy to promoting their cognitive, emotional, and social development!

    Did you know that early play can enrich a child’s literacy?

    One day, Louise (my daughter) came home from school and was so excited to report that there was a special visitor that day: a lovely librarian named Michele. Later that day, I found a pamphlet from the library on activities to help prepare Louise for reading tucked away in her backpack. I’m not a literacy expert myself, and was surprised to see some activities listed that I wouldn’t have associated with reading! The four stepping stones listed to prepare your child for reading were talking, singing, playing, and writing (scribbling counts too)!  

    I was thrilled to see playing listed among these reading readiness skills—it’s something we do often, and I love encouraging it on our Snickerdoos platforms.

    I dug in to find out more and learned that play, in addition to being fun, helps children think symbolically. For example, have you ever noticed how a child can associate a wooden block with a phone from a young age? Hi! Hi!…Bye-bye! That is because at a young age, children begin thinking symbolically. One shape or symbol can represent and giving meaning to another. This kind of symbolic thinking can relate to reading as children begin learning that each individual letter (shape) represents a particular sound.

    So where does dramatic play come in?

    During dramatic play, children create and act out stories, which builds their knowledge and understanding of how a story works. This helps them understand the characters, structures, and themes when they begin to read books. Who is going to play doctor, who is the patient, and what will happen next?!

    I am constantly in awe of the power of play-based learning. I could just scream it from the roof-tops: not a minute is wasted on the playground or in the playroom!

    Preparing to launch!

    Preparing to launch!

    Hello, hello!

    It has been an incredible year of researching, designing, learning, and collaborating, as I developed a new line of children’s costumes: Snickerdoos! After lots of hard work, these magical, wearable costumes are almost ready to hit the market.

    I can’t wait to share our monthly blog and newsletter, which will explore all the wonderful benefits of dress up, provide play-based resources, and keep you informed on all the latest news from Snickerdoos!

    So, where do I begin? The inspiration? Snickerdoos all began with my daughter, Louise.  

    Have you ever witnessed a child’s pure joy and excitement when they use their imagination? Or how thrilled they are when they learn something new and are able to show off that knowledge? Louise’s uninhibited zeal for dress-up sent me on a mission to improve what was in her costume drawer.  

    I hope to make dress-up as comfortable and sensory-friendly as it is fun! I understand that children have different sensitivities, and we kept this in mind during the design process. We eliminated all tags, scratchiness, and glitter from our costumes, and manufactured them only with the softest materials. I want every Snickerdoos child to find our costumes as comfortable and wearable as their everyday clothing!

    What makes Snickerdoos unique is our desire to encourage a child’s learning and development through dress up.

    Doctors, Dinosaurs, and Tigers, oh my! We design characters that encourage children to learn, think, and find meaning in the world around them. In costume, children have the opportunity to expand their vocabulary, and practice using the words they already know: Pass the stethoscope! Through role-play, children are able to give these words context  by acting out scenarios that use them. Suddenly, check-ups can feel playful! The cognitive and emotional benefits of dress up go far beyond the fun.

    My goal is simple, but important: to support and inspire the children wearing our costumes.

    We will also give costumes and the opportunity for dress up to children in need through an organization called Beverly’s Birthdays. Learn more about them on Social Mission page our website!

    When Snickerdoos launches in just a couple of days, we will continue to learn and adapt in every way possible to benefit you and the children in your life! I would love to hear your feedback, questions, and suggestions to help me create the best possible experience for the Snickerdoos kids.

    Thank you so much for your time in reading this and going on this journey with me!