Monday, August 1, 2016

Inspiring Happiness In Kids Through Imaginative Play

Imaginative Play Dolls from ThisSweetDollhouse - 15% off on! I sometimes wonder about my attachment to the simpler things in life. Why are we so naturally attracted to the outdoors, and how people did things in "back in the day"?

It's all pretty charming, sure. But there also seems to be a deeper feeling - a sense of recognizing where we came from and how wonderful the progression of life is.

I feel endlessly lucky to have grown up when I did. At a time when a childhood was still lived outdoors with free reign of the neighborhood and imagination at the center of all we did. As my generation grew into adolescence and eventually adulthood, the Internet (and its cyber society) grew with us. We've had the best of both worlds.

homemade stuffed panda with red knit vest

My partner-in-crime from childhood, Lynne, and I often talk about how much things have changed, and how seriously awesome our time together was as a pair of neurotic, creative, free range little girls.

Together, we built mansions out of poster board and Legos, and created soap opera level scenarios for our Barbies.

We drew entire towns on the street and sidewalks of our neighborhood and built gas stations and toll booths along our pretend roads out of cardboard boxes, sticks, and Monopoly money. We'd spend days on end navigating our micro-town on bikes or roller blades.

We ate SO many giant freezy pops, and had endless sleepovers where we'd make up songs and stories and laugh about any current life situation we could turn into a comedy routine.

We had the time of our lives, all the way into adulthood.

Next Generation of the 4 of us

Our kids are friends now (see adorable little people in their tie dyed wardrobe, which yes, we made together), and we try to come up with fun ways for them to have fun and play together the way we did as kids. It can be a struggle, because lots of times they all want to make a bee-line for Minecraft, but once in a while we woo them with our great ideas. ;)

The one thing I haven't yet mentioned, is that where I am creative, Lynne is straight up oozing with talent. Through our childhood, I would write a book, and she would illustrate it. I'd have an idea for a scenario we could play out, and she would find the creative way to physically make it happen. She drew, and crafted, and painted, and she influenced the creativity of our group immensely.

homemade stuffed bunny with aqua arrow pajamas

Which is why it makes me SO HAPPY (and a sibling-like proud) that she is putting both her talent and her values to good use in a shop full of gorgeously handcrafted pieces.

Her adorable stuffed creatures are all uniquely made out of a soft, snuggly fleece, and some of them come with adorable extras like outfits, play food, working play diapers (for the baby versions), or a bag for the little guys to travel around in.

The best thing about them is the vision she's unleashing them into the world with: a personal, unique friend to bring along on a child's everyday adventures to foster imaginative play.

homemade stuffed baby bear set with diaper and treats from ThisSweetDollhouse

My personal favorite?

This little lady, in her pink floral pajamas. If only they came in human adult size! ;)

homemade stuffed bear with pink floral pajamas

Visit Lynne & her adorable stuffed creatures at This Sweet Dollhouse on Etsy! If you tell her Jenn sent you by using coupon code TAKEMEHOME at checkout, she'll give you 15% off one of her beauties! xo

And while you're here, tell me some of the fun ways you inspire your kids to use their imaginations? My seven year old loves to dream - I'd love to give him some new ideas!

- - -

Join the Enrychment Newsletter


  1. I have the same memories of childhood. I remember a friend and I riding our bikes and acting like we were Ponch and John from the show Chips. Do you remember that show? Times have changed so dramatically and kids don't play like we use too.

    I love your friend's craftiness!! I will check out her store and share this will others. Thx!

  2. I thought I was the only one that had Barbie soap operas. There weren't many kids in my neighborhood but I still had a blast on my bike and rollerblades.
    Great job to your friend that made the cuddly friends. We're at Kalahari right now and my daughter has her cuddly friends with her.