Photo Credit: Jennifer Aline Graham
Though many parents try to limit the time their little ones spend watching television or swiping away on a tablet or phone, screen-time continues to engulf us – all of us. Many parents are often scrolling through social media timelines instead of snuggling with their toddlers and though this reality is sad, it’s happening.
So, where does this leave the growth of childhood imagination when technology growth is booming?
There are small businesses and companies out there pushing and rallying to keep childhood creativity and imagination alive. Their products and missions not only relay important messages for the children, but also give insight to the adults. With the holiday season officially here, these businesses could gift your family with less screen-time and more time spent using that wild imagination your little one has.
Curious Little Market
“Brought forth from hope, the EverWilde are the protectors of the forest, the guardians. They wander through the woods humming a tune that inspires the bees to buzz, the buds to bloom, and the breeze to blow.” – The EverWilde (plush and book pictured above)
This little business truly encompasses the idea of imagination in the purest form. Created by a mother with a mission, the products focus on fantasy and exploring imagination – two very necessary parts of childhood. Another very important part of Curious Little Market’s mission is nature. The creatures all have a connection to parts of nature, whether it be the forest or the sky, and they each have a story to tell. The business is also partnered with One Tree Planted and for each product purchased, a tree is planted.
Save the forest while building your child’s imagination and reading abilities – that’s a business worth supporting.
Photo credit: Jennifer Aline Graham
You may recognize the name “Slumberkins,” or these creatures, from their little stint on Shark Tank or from their appearances on newscasts and daytime shows. If you do not recognize them, you probably have already fallen in love with their stitched, little smiles and how soft they look (and feel).
Launched by childhood best friends, Kelly Oriard and Callie Christensen, Slumberkins focuses on products and board-books bringing forth a life lesson while supporting imagination growth. The plush products are a security blanket and stuffed animal combination with soft textures and no small, hard pieces that could fall off. Each creature has a unique story and the business often releases limited time mini products that are also connected to teachable life lessons.
“We believe in the resilience and creativity of children to express themselves and their emotions through creative play,” states Kelly Oriard, co-founder. “We try to foster opportunities through our storylines to allow them to express their emotions along with their favorite character.”
Photo credit: Jennifer Aline Graham
Stories evoke imaginative thinking. That is simply that. Most children grow up with stories being read to them, immediately improving their creative thought with each book read. However, as they grow older, a screen or two may be introduced. This doesn’t mean they will forget books altogether, but it does bring a whole new dynamic into the picture when it comes to sculpting their imagination.
There are subscription boxes for absolutely everything these days. Hell, your dog can even get a monthly box of treats and goodies. By involving your little one with a book subscription box, such as Lillypost, the excitement for reading grows each and every time the box is delivered. They can open the box up and dive into brand new stories that many parents have never read before. The arrival of their box pushes away other distractions and brings them to a place of creativity.
Lillypost gives parents the option of choosing between board books or picture books to keep the subscription age appropriate. The books are unique in that they are from all kinds of authors who write all kinds of stories – ones often not found in popular bookstores. Not only would your little one be supporting their growing imagination, they would also be supporting little-known authors out there.
That’s a win-win!
Jennifer Aline is a coffee addict, mama of twins, and a passionate freelance writer and author. She writes for Moms.com on a regular basis and has had articles in publications such as the NY Daily News, NY Post, and In Good Health Newspaper. Aline received her Bachelor’s Degree in Child and Family Studies from Keuka College and worked in the Human Services field before her two little girls entered her life. Aline now focuses primarily on writing, teaching aerial arts classes in the evenings, and caring for her twin daughters – all while continuously chugging coffee, of course.
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