My husband is ‘the funny one’. And, as a dad, he qualifies as ‘the fun one’ too. Truly. He is the one that has always made the funny voices and faces. So much so, that my small people are virtually professional at mimicking his face. And, honestly, they’ve been doing it since they were itty-bitty.
I would say, ‘smile!’ as I prepped for a picture (an important one mind you – like Pres-School Graduation) and this is what I would get. This face is his standard. It is now a version of his standard and her standard as well.
And we never, ever, take family pictures without a ‘funny one’ or a ‘silly one’ included. Photographers – take note – this may be the virtual key that unlocks the perfect family photo – promise a silly picture.
Here’s the thing…. it is my small people (and my husband) who have brought out this silly side, this fun side, this dare-I-say funny side in me. Children come by laughter and play so very easily. It seems as though I had truly forgotten that this passion for play lay buried deep within me. In the past eight years, I have re-learned the art of spontaneous running, jumping, face-making and true belly-laughing.
But it hasn’t been without prodding. It hasn’t been without the pulling of little hands. It hasn’t been without the willingness to find that within myself. And it definitely hasn’t been without witnessing the joy my children find in the everyday and in the toys that helped them grow. A few months ago, I started working with Fisher Price and I have been reminded all over again how integral some of these toys can be to play, to development and truly, to simple joy.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Champion Olympic Gymnast Nastia Liukin about her partnership with Fisher Price to release Fantastic Gymnastics Dora….and I kept thinking how much fun a doll like that would be for a young gymnast.
Even now, as I see some of the latest toys… the opportunity for dancing, for learning, for interacting with apps…. I’m amazed at the possibilities. Children are surrounded by opportunities to expand their play – and even better – parents receive the encouragement so many of them need to get down on their hands and knees to observe and join in.
For me, it was the ability to see what what happening behind their eyes, to recognize the connection behind their senses and their smile that truly tapped in to my art of play.
This weekend, we are taking our play to a whole new level. We are joining Fisher Price and Royal Caribbean on a Cruise in the Western Caribbean. The list of things that bring me joy about this experience are long, but what I, and I assume, many people don’t know is that Fisher Price and Royal Caribbean partner to make these cruises as family friendly as possible. The Little People Fisher Price are so well known for are visible throughout the ship, from the dining experience to classes, from Little People Parties and Shows to the Nursery. In addition, a Toy Lending Library is available for families with children aged 6-36 months. Parents can borrow toys to keep little minds occupied and growing with play while on the ship.
I am definitely excited to continue sharing the evolution of my personal ‘Art of Play’ journey with you. I will try not to embarrass myself too much