Archive for February, 2012
Meg Cox wrote a wonderful book called The Heart of a Family where she explored how rituals anchor us to our roots, provide honor and stability in the lives of children. And they can be inexpensive and uniquely yours! These are some ideas that come from this author as well as from friends. But you’ll have to find what your think resonates with your tribe and make it your own…and then repeat each year!
§ One family uses February 14th to have Red Food Night. Only red food can be served…think red sauce, tinted mashed potatoes, beets, strawberries, pink lemonade, ham??? Desserts are easier, but the children in the Straw household looks forward to innovative main course features.
§ In the Chesto family, mom tries to “characterize” each child in a way that celebrates that child’s strengths. So she bakes a heart-shaped cake, frosts it red or pink, then writes a word for each of her three children (justice, courage, forthright). Then her kids debate and guess which word mom intended for each of them! She says the conversations have been great.
§ One family started a Valentine-Validation book for each child. Every year the parents add a page or two to the book. Mom and dad start secretly compiling a list in late January and then write a few statements. “We love you because ____________”. They found that their children’s books chronicle their lives and their development.
§ Dee Ann prepares “high tea” for her children after school on Valentine’s Day. Pink milk in the precious china, pink cream cheese-heart shaped tea sandwiches and all! Funny pretend-English accents are required for tea conversation.
§ Dad in the Kerry family always buys each of his daughters a box of chocolates. When they awaken on Valentine’s morning, their box has a love note from dad followed by their once a year Chocolate Breakfast!
What family activities or “rituals” can you establish to focus on each child’s unique strengths? Have fun! Celebrate!
I am about to embark on my 31st annual International Toy Fair. Honestly, I can’t believe it! So just as you are making pink cupcakes and filling out sweet Valentines’ cards with your kiddos, I am actively hunting down what I hope to be the best of the best toys for your families to enjoy all year long. I am also searching for our top picks that can be part of our 2012 holiday catalog. So many people think I might be jaded, indifferent or simply downright bored after all these years. ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!!!
I still walk the aisles with a spring in my step. I still get totally jazzed by all of the exciting new products. I continue to be passionate about empowering children and families to embrace their love for play. We are dedicated to finding high quality playthings that will inspire healthy, creative play.
So, I have already begun the journey as the International Toy Fair renews the motion for the year to come. Thousands of vendors will be there; both old and new. It is an ongoing challenge and inspiration to make all of you happy with new exciting products for 2012.
I’ll keep you posted…………