"Just" Playing....

When I am building in the block room, please don't say I'm "just playing". For you see, I'm learning as I play, about balance and shapes. Who knows, I may be an architect someday.

When I'm getting all dressed up, setting the table, caring for the babies, don't get the idea I'm "just playing". For, you see, I'm learning as I play; I may be a mother or a father someday.

When you see me up to my elbows in paint or standing at an easel, or molding and shaping clay, please don't let me hear you say, "He is just playing". For, you see, I'm learning as I play. I'm expressing myself and being creative. I may be an artist or an inventor someday.

When you see me sitting in a chair "reading" to an imaginary audience, please don't laugh and think I'm "just playing". For, you see, I'm learning as I play. I may be a teacher someday.

When you see me combing the bushes for bugs, or packing my pockets with choice things I find, don't pass it off as "just play". For you see, I'm learning as I play. I may be a scientist someday.

When you see me engrossed in a puzzle or some "plaything" at my school, please don't feel the time is wasted in "play". For, you see, I'm learning as I play. I'm learning to solve problems and concentrate. I may be in business someday.

When you see me cooking or tasting foods, please don't think that because I enjoy it, it is "just play". I'm learning to follow direction and see differences. I may be a cook someday.

When you see me learning to skip, hop, run and move my body, please don't say I'm "just playing". For, you see, I'm learning as I play. I'm learning how my body works. I may be a doctor, nurse or athlete someday.

When you ask me what I've done at school today, and I say, "I just played", please don't misunderstand me. For you see, I'm learning as I play. I'm learning to enjoy and be successful in my work. I'm preparing for tomorrow. Today, I am a child and my work is play.

~Anita Wadley


Holiday Playful Planning Page!

Download this Holiday Calendar and plan some playdates with your Beans!

How Kids Learn......

I recently read a study on a group of 4 year olds. They were asked to stand as still as they could. Most could not stand for even a minute. But when asked to play make believe that they were guards manning a station, they could stand for longer than 4 minutes. In the same experiment, they were asked to memorize random unrelated words - which they all struggled to retain. Then they played Grocery Store and were asked to memorize a similar list - this time though, they were able to remember twice as many words.

Lesson learned - Spending more time on dramatic play will significantly improve their levels of self control, their language skills, social skills and processing skills.

With children it is all about PLAY!!!

What scares me

If you are a fan or a follower of Peekaboo Beans, you know that I am passionate about the "Power of Play". As many of you know, I have two Beans of my own and I love to watch them explore the world, learn and grow. My journey to motherhood was long and challenging, and it gave me even more perspective on the blessing that I have in my life.

I want my children to be children, to have a childhood, to not feel the pressures and stresses of a fast paced world at such a young age. There is enough time later in life to experience this.

I parent in moderation. Candy in moderation, Technology and TV in moderation, I believe a healthy balance - not all or nothing.

So tonite as I was getting Cailin's homework organized and packed up, I flipped through the pages of her work as every parent does, taking in all her ideas, artistic creations and school work.

In the pile, was a book I bought for her while travelling recently to Banff. It was sweet note book that I thought would be great for road trips, or travelling - with a nice pack of pencil crayons in a neat tin box (I am a office supplies geek). It posed questions, like draw your family, draw your best vacation, draw your best friend.

I enjoyed seeing all her crafty pictures and smiled with that sense of motherly pride. I turned the next page to see the picture posted here. "Draw your favorite toy". She answered in picture - "I Heart IPAD".

Insert Mother "GASP".

And then my fears of how our world is changing, and how play is becoming a lost art, validated itself right before my eyes.

Obviously that was the first thing that came to her mind, when posed with the question. With ALL the lovely toys, dolls, puzzles, games and simple treasures she has - this is what she answered.

I remember my parents said to me, "come home when the street lights come on" and I long for that for my children. Yet we fear the saftey of our neighbourhoods and question our insticts of letting them go into the world and to fall down and get back up, and we become the "helicopter parent" - a buzz word for their day and age.

Yet they need to play and fall in order to grow.

So I ask you this - do the same things scare you?

Speaking their language....

All week long we held "Fashion Camp" at our corporate offices or what we dub "the Playground". So for a week, I have been driving 3 little girls into work everyday. Each day they chit chat in the back of the car as I drive, I secretly smile at their conversations. So amusing to get a glimpse into their sweet little lives and how they think. One conversation went like this "oh yeah, we did hip hop at our school too" "oh was the teacher the guy that had the earring and looked like a gangster" "what's a gangster?" "Oh someone who tells lots of jokes" "no, thats a prankster" "oh, same thing, whatever"?..


The next day, the conversation started something like this. "Oh I watched that on Netflix" "oh you have Netflix" "ya and Apple tv", "oh your lucky" "oh my friend has nine t.v's in their house", "oh really, so and so has 5 computers", "ya I have a DS, and my Mom has and Ipad, so does my Dad, Plus an Iphone and my brother has an IPod touch....."

You see where I am going with this...

This is the generation they live in....this is what they know. It's happening. Period.

As we were arriving at Fashion Camp their minds shifted from the conversation and they could barely contain their excitement for the events that were to take place over the next four days.

And for the next 4 days, I watch ten girls, ages ranging from 5-12, completely engaged, sharing, helping, behaving, listening....creating.

Not one of them required to be talked to, there was no negotiating, no acting out, no rambunctiousness.

Now if you have been in a room with 10 kids for hours on end you can understand that the above is typically rare. There is always some sort of "intervention" that has to happen. After all, they are kids.

What moved me is that given the opportunity to create at their own free will, to not have rules, to not have boundaries, or methods, or guidelines, given space and time, they could immerse themselves completely in their projects, and create, assemble, invent, make...

They recycled clothing into new and interesting designs, they designed, bedazzled, sketched and rejoiced in each others neat ideas and offered up other perspectives.

A typical struggle in our house is trying to get our daughter to focus and do her homework. A daily struggle. Not once in this environment was there a negotiation.

It truly felt freeing. We were now speaking a language she understood, she was in her element and she was learning without even knowing it.

Now, I understand - I just have to learn her language and continue to speak it.

Clearly just playing for four days was the local tongue, without the 9 t.v.'s....

A Pod-Cast with Vancouvermom.ca

Traci’s Tips for Balance in Life
•You can’t be everything and everywhere. It takes a village to raise a family.
•Surround yourself be people who understand you, believe in your concept and passion, and value what you do. Make sure everyone is aligned to your vision.
•Build a support network by hiring the right caregivers and relying on friends and family.

Some Advantages Moms Have in Business
•Resiliency. Moms generally have thick skins.
•Practicality of empathy and understanding. If you can negotiate with children, you can negotiate anything.
•Multi-tasking. Moms are able to manage jumping from one thing to another.

Advice For Moms Starting a Business
•Be realistic. Ask yourself: on your darkest day, will your passion get you through it? Feel the fear and do it anyway.
•Give yourself time to work on your business.
•Understand cash and cash flow. Rather than focus on business planning, it’s less daunting to just put down your thoughts.

Being 2

I recently posted this quote - "A two-year-old is kind of like having a blender, but you don't have a top for it. Jerry Seinfeld". It resonated with me - since that is the "stage" we are in...

I have two girls, one 7 going on 8 next month, and one - well.....TWO.

I find it so crazy to watch the littler one. She has no concept of danger, she runs across a street like a maniac as if nothing could harm her, she dances like Elaine from Seinfeld, she SCREAMS and YELLS and throws tantrums like there is no tomorrow - she will walk to the end of a cliff as if there isn't a drop as I leap through the air behind her like a rabid dog to save her.

She crys and laughs hysterically in the same minute. She doesn't share if she doesn't want to, she throws food, toys, food, well pretty much anything. She asks for pemission to do something she knows she shouldn't do, and when I tell her NO, she proceeds to do it anyway - and gives me the "look" - oh you know the look! She can turn me into a pile of mush with her glowing smile, and her precious cuddles and her angelic face - after acting like a firey devil for 18 hours of the rest of the day.

When I look at this, I am stunned and amazed at what it must be like to be in her body - the world is at her fingertips, she has no concept of rules, or boundaries - it must be like crazy bliss?

I envy this so much, but when I look at her, I am afraid of what is to come for her. We all have to conform at some point, as we can't act like two year olds the rest of our life - nor should we, as much as we may like to throw a good tantrum every now and again.

I guess what I am afraid of is, yes she might lose the "terrible twos" part (slightly happy for this to end), but will she lose that freedom of imagination too, the freedom to be?

That is why I love to Play with her - she sings while she plays, she doddles around with her tea set and states "make mamma cuppa coffee" while working away in her kitchen and feeding her imaginary friends. I love when she fake reads books, flipping pages and making the stories up on the pages, wiggling her little toes with excitement of what her little mind has thought up.

Conversely, my older daughter still loves to play, but can be more guarded in her imagination - more afraid to be free with herself in fear she might be judged by her peers.

At what point does this change and how can we help our children continue to fuel the fire of their imaginations?

I only hope you can help me find some answers and share some of your "terrible twos" too....

Playing Outside with Peekaboo Beans

Peekaboo Beans was born out of necessity. Why, when all children should really be doing is PLAYING - are the clothes they wear not designed for PLAY. Bunchy, pinchy, unfunctional, uncomfortable and not durable to top it all off?

My "ahha moment" and Peekaboo Beans was born.

As a Mom, Peekaboo Beans is my dream! Everyone has moments when they don't feel like the "perfect" mom, but when my girls go to their closets and pull out their beans and are playing in perfect comfort, ease and function (and looking so lovingly put together) - I do feel like a "good" Mom....

Top it all off it's Daddy Proof too :)

It just doesn't stop giving....

In my world, I am so blessed to have Peekaboo Beans part of my family ~ I hope you share that moment of "peace of mind" too :)

Lets PLAY outside

It is Lets Play Outside week at Peekaboo Beans.

Grab your PB Duds and get some fresh air!!

Check out the fabulous promotions this week for all those fabulous Playdates!

Mommy Brain Contest - Vote for your favorite!

Last week we ran the "mommy brain contest" and asked the moms to submit their best stories. We recieved so many entries through facebook and by email! Thank you to everyone who participated.

We want to share a few of our favorites with you. Please have a laugh with us and we'll use your votes and comments to help choose a winner of the $100 spa gift certificate.

Have fun!

1. I woke up in the middle of the night to use the washroom and noticed my daughters bedroom door was open, odd, so I checked her crib and she wasn't there! After yelling "OH MY GOD" I remembered she was at grandma's!!!
~ Nicola Bradley Pridmore

2. In one week I headed home and forgot to pick up the baby from the Dayhome and the same week I went to work, got out of the van and the baby waved goodbye to me.......oops I forgot to drop him off.
~ Chantal Norris

3. Ava had just finished her swimming lesson. She was 4 years old and she was standing in front of me while I towel dried her hair. I had a newborn at home and was exhausted. I remembered having this panicked feeling come over me and while vigorously towel drying her little head, I called out "Ava, Ava where are you?" this little voice pops out from right in front of me "I'm right here mama, who do you think I am?" I was so embarrased. She still tells this story to people.
~ Amber Stankievech Hark

4. I was booked for a C sectiono at 8am. 8 hours prior to this event around midnight, nesting habits to the max takes over. Trying to prepare for the next morning, I remember that we need gas in the car. So I barrel out of the house while everyone is asleep to go get gas. I get to the station right at the stroke of midnight just as the place closed up. Nowhere else in Tsawwassen has an open gas station this late. Oh, but in my major relapse in judgement, I think...."I'll go get gas in Pt. Roberts, USA". I have my driver's license, that should be good enough, right!?!?
I drive up to the custom booth, and I do not have my passport. I don't know what I was thinking. Why wouldn't they let a hugely pregnant lady with the possibility of giving birth in the states without a passport go through? I still struggle to this day the rational of my ever so logical thinking. There I was, detained in the customs office at 1am with my huge tummy, just 7 hours before I was supposed to be on the operating table, and 4.5 hours before I was supposed to get up to go. I was just 20 blocks from home, an no one knew where I was...all this FOR GAS!
Happy to report, that my story did have a gloriously happy ending too. Baby boy, Prince William, 9lbs 1 oz @8:15am, just 6 hours after getting gas in the states.
~ Minta Sherritt

5. When I was pregnant I had some shirts to bring to work for my assistants daughter. I could not find them anywhere and went crazy looking.
One day a month later they were cleaning out the office fridge and a memo went out asking who was storing a bag of shirts in the fridge.
Somehow I brought the shirts all the way to work and put them in the fridge!
~ Christina Skolaude

6. Then, I went back to return the clicker to my neighbor and thank her for her help. Her daughter was visiting and asked me what my baby's name is. I told her Peyton. She said she loved that name and asked what her middle name is. I drew a blank. For the life of me, I could not remember my own daughter's middle name. I stumbled and stumbled...she asked if I was sure that she was my baby. How embarrassing! She asked if I could remember my other daughter's name and thankfully I could remember that - Olivia Madelyn. "At least you remember that one!" she said looking at me quizzically. I began to panic, desperately searching my mind for her name and worried that I was truly losing it. I was flushed, beet red in the face and thought that this woman must think I am out of my head! I apologized and told her that I have mommy brain and explained how overtired I was and walked away with my head down. It wasn't until I returned home, after wracking my brain for a while, that I remembered that her middle name comes from my husband's grandma - Eleanor.
~ Krista Waller

My Journey to Motherhood

I think at one point in my early life, I imagined that I would get married, have babies, live in the house with the white picket fence, and the sweet smell of freshly baked bread would waft from our home. Huh? Oh, how naivety is bliss!

My journey to becoming a Mom definately wasn't as easy as it was in my mind. Ten years of infertility, and enough in-vitro treatments that I lost count. At the time, it was all consuming as some may have experienced, or if not, you can imagine.

However, now I can look back on this experience and understand that although it was painful, it has given me the gift of gratitude, of joy, of love in the simplest purest form. I think it taught me to be more patient, more understanding, more empathetic. It also made me see a strength in myself that I might not have seen had we not gone through those challenges.

My life changed the moment that our little baby was born.

As I was chatting with someone today, I mentioned that that the experiences we go through make us who we are. Had I not gone through so much work to have our baby, I might not have enjoyed every single minute with Cailin through her early months and years, I might not have soaked up every smile, every giggle, every moment that I had with her and continue to, that I will carry in my heart forever.

That joy led me to create Peekaboo Beans, to create a product that focsued on play. To allow Cailin to play in comfort, in style and to empower her with all the life skills that play offers.

The world cannot be a better place if we do not take care of other families as well as our own, so I share Peekaboo Beans with you and all the joy that it brings your children. How it allows children to feel great, to feel special, to feel youthful and fun, to be COMFORTABLE, such a simple yet fundamental part of childhood.

I feel blessed for the challenges that have been presented to me in my life. They continually highlight what is important and what I am grateful for.

This week at Peekaboo Beans we celebrate you, Mommy. Mommies have a natural gift for making things better, for singing sorrows away, for kissing away "owies", for celebrating the big things and the little things, for understanding what your children need, for raising them in love and making a safe and fun environment for them to grow up in.

I am grateful to you all - because this is the world that my children will grow up in and their children will grow up in, and if they can meet your babies along the way, they can all work to make the world a better place together.

Don't forget to enter our contest this week - tell us your funniest "mommy brain" moment. Come on we have all had them!! Share and send us a laugh, you could win a delightful and blissful spa experience to take a bit of time for you!

You deserve it!

What is Pretty to you?

A conversation between my 7 year old daughter this Morning.

Cailin obviously at the age of 7 is becoming more self aware and is exposed to much more things now being in school full time.

Cailin "Mommy I bought a book about Taylor Swift at the book fair, because I like her and she has a good voice".

Me "That's cool honey".

Cailin "I think she wears too much makeup - her lipstick is really dark".

Me "she does wear a lot of makeup doesn't she"

Cailin "does Lipstick make her pretty?"

Me "it doesn't MAKE her pretty, it just makes her look glamorous"

Cailin "Well Glamorous and pretty are the same thing right"

(Hmmm me thinking, what do I say here - thinking positive role model - body image, her life flashing before my eyes as a teenager, grown women, self confidence, positive body image - eeeek too much pressure, ok relax breathe, just answer the question!)

Me "no they aren't the same thing honey, pretty is (okay now wheels are turning - how do you DEFINE pretty) pretty is beauty from the inside out, it is everything about a person - that makes them beautiful (hmmm maybe too deep?) , glamorous is getting all "fancied" up as she is a performer....

So I asked her, and I ask you - what does PRETTY mean to you? How do YOU define Pretty?

Childhood can be magical

I love holidays like today as it reminds me of how innocent childhood is. Last night was a evening affair of preparing for the Easter Bunny. The proper placement of the baskets, the coloring of the picture for "Him". The leaving of the carrots, washing, peeling and gently placing them out so the bunny would have energy to continue onwwards after leaving our home.

I find so much joy watching my daughters get lost in their imaginations and living in the space of pure freedom on thought. I am so envious of this. Can you imagine -literally? I assume this has to evolve as we age, otherwise we wouldn't beable to hold down jobs of responsibility, since daydreaming is not good on the resume.

I will cherish these moments, but it saddens me that this has to change as they get older.

So I challenge you (when it is safe) :) to simply get lost in your imagination, to dream as a child would dream, to play with your thoughts and let them run free.

I will see if I can get my Type A personality to enable me to do this, I think it must be the most freeing experience.

Supporting Families all around the world.

At Peekaboo Beans, not only are we passionate about PLAYING we continually strive to support the working mother. One, by creating a working environment within Peekaboo Beans that supports her and her Beans. No one misses a field trip on our team :)! So we are looking at other ways to support our global families. Have you heard of ...http://www.kiva.org/? KIVA is a non profit organization that lends money to people in third world countries to help grow their businesses, whether it be, a little farm market, a seamstress or a street vendor. Next time you place an online order with Peekaboo Beans add some of LILAHS SILLY BEANS to your cart and 100% off the proceeds will be used to lend money through KIVA.

One Bean At A Time....

I think pretty much, every day that presents itself to me, I have an abundance of gratitude. Even if it is a "bad" day, I see it as a learning opportunity for me. " I will ask myself what is this teaching me?"

So, what do I feel grateful for today? - Children, health, happiness, love, friendship, family, co-workers and the journey....

Peekaboo Beans has taken me on a journey that I would have NEVER expected. One that I have gained more understanding and strength from, that I have met the most amazing people, families and children from. One that has empowered me with a message of how important it is for us to be the pillar of strength for our children and allow them the space and freedom to grow through play.

It has taken me on a journey to provide a working environment that supports women and mothers. So that no one misses out on the precious moments of childhood.

I am afraid everyday at how the world is so quickly changing and that simple things are being lost.

So what do I have to say? Let kids play....simple as that...

Please continue on this journey with me and see how our garden can grow, and flourish....and change the world, one Bean at a time...

Playfully yours,


The Power of Play

The lifelong benefits of PLAY

Play connects us to others

Sharing joy, laughter and fun with others promotes bonding and strengthens a sense of community. We develop empathy, compassion, trust, and the capacity for intimacy through regular play.

Play fosters creativity, flexibility, and learning

Play is a doorway to learning. Play stimulates our imaginations, helping us adapt and solve problems. Play arouses curiosity, which leads to discovery and creativity. The components of play - curiosity, discovery, novelty, risk-taking, trial and error, pretense, games, social etiquette and other increasingly complex adaptive activities - are the same as the components of learning.

Play is an antidote to loneliness, isolation, anxiety, and depression

When we play vigorously, we trigger a mix of endorphins that lift our spirits and distractions that distance us from pain, fear and other burdens. And when we play with other people, with friends and strangers, we are reminded that we are not alone in this world. We can connect to others in delightful and meaningful ways that banish loneliness.

Play teaches us perseverance

The rewards of learning or mastering a new game teach us that perseverance is worthwhile. Perseverance is a trait necessary to healthy adulthood, and it is learned largely through play. Perseverance and violence are rarely found together.

Play makes us happy

Beyond all these excellent reasons for playing, there is simply the sheer joy of it. Play is a state of being that is happy and joyous. Jumping into and out of the world of play on a daily basis can preserve and nourish our own hearts, and the hearts of our communities.

From Helpguide.org

The Perfect Dress to Play In!

The Roots to Wings Dress is flying off the shelves right now (pardon the pun)!
My daughter who is 7 just loves this dress and paired with the sweet ruffle leggings - ahhhh to die for! It is as if she flew off a vine from Pixie Hollow!

Its time to play at Peekaboo Beans!

It's all happening at PB Playground Headquarters. The girls are madly packing boxes and our online beans will be posted soon! Stay tuned for some exciting announcements in the days to come. Our vine is growing....

11 Step Program for those thinking of having kids

This will make you giggle!

Lesson #3

A really good way to discover how the nights might feel...

1. Get home from work and immediately begin walking around the living room from 5PM to 10PM carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 8-12 pounds, with a radio turned to static (or some other obnoxious sound) playing loudly. (Eat cold food with one hand for dinner)
2. At 10PM, put the bag gently down, set the alarm for midnight, and go to sleep.
3. Get up at 12 and walk around the living room again, with the bag, until 1AM.
4. Set the alarm for 3AM.
5. As you can't get back to sleep, get up at 2AM and make a drink and watch an infomercial.
6. Go to bed at 2:45AM.
7. Get up at 3AM when the alarm goes off.
8. Sing songs quietly in the dark until 4AM.
9. Get up. Make breakfast. Get ready for work and go to work (work hard and be productive)

Repeat steps 1-9 each night. Keep this up for 3-5 years. Look cheerful and together.

The Importance of Play

I found a blog post that shared some great ideas and benefits on the importance of play. Thought I would share...

Parenthood can be hard work. It can be exhausting, it can be challenging and it can wear us down. One of the best ways to combat that and really enjoy parenthood is to learn how to be playful again.

Most parents already play with their children, but it's often in action only. I'm not talking about getting down on the floor and playing Candyland for the 85th time or dutifully agreeing to play the part of Sparkle Pony (unless you really love Candyland and My Little Ponies). Those things are wonderful for children, but they don't do a whole lot for us.

The sort of playing that we need more of is the sort that makes us happy, too.

We need to be present when we're doing things with our kids, and find a way to do things to make it joyful for us at the same time.

One easy way to do this is to do things with our children that we love to do. If we love gardening, we can introduce our kids to gardening. If we love doing crafts, we can do them side by side. If we love baseball, we can take our kids to games and volunteer as coaches for Little League.

We need to take it farther than that, though. Those are hobbies and they're enjoyable, but they are different from the world of play that children naturally gravitate towards. If we join them in the truly magical play of childhood, it can do something magical for us as well.

When's the last time you ran barefoot in the grass with your child? When's the last time you jumped in a puddle? When's the last time you squished your toes in the mud or built a sand castle? Hopefully just this week! If not, why not? These things are fun!

There's even a bit of science behind the importance of play for all of us. Playing outside gets us more sun exposure, which gives us more Vitamin D (deficiencies are linked to everything from lowered immune function to depression) and sunlight is also a natural mood lifter. Physical exercise releases endorphins, which boost feelings of happiness and fight pain. Sensory activities help ground us and redirect our attention from stressors. Some movements that kids typically use in play (such as spinning, jumping and swinging) are even helpful for stabilizing our emotions and helping us focus later. And laughing... well, that helps us in an infinite number of ways.

Here's some more ways to play today....

Go to the park and swing on the swings and use the equipment with your kids.
Fly kites.
Blow bubbles.
Go rollerskating or rollerblading.
Jump on the trampoline
Play tug of war. To make it even, put all the kids against you or play one-handed.
Take your dog (or borrow a friend's) to the park with the kids and wear everybody out playing fetch or something similar.
Buy a pack of rocket balloons and find a wide open space to shoot them off.
Have a water balloon fight. Aim for legs unless people ask to be hit higher so the little ones aren't terrorized.
Play the alphabet balloon game inside. Blow up a balloon and take turns bopping it with the kids. The catch? You have to say a word that starts with whatever letter you've chosen before you can hit it. Older kids need to say 2 syllable words and grown ups need to say 3 (or even 4) syllable words.
Play a video game together.
Shoot hoops in the driveway or park.
Play a nighttime game of hide-and-seek or flashlight tag in the back yard.
Find a big mountain of dirt and climb it together.
Play Marco Polo and other water games in the pool.
Play marbles.
Hula hoop. I bet it'll be harder than you remember! :)
Whatever it is, just try to get messy, get active, get goofy and have fun!

Parenthood can be hard work, but it can also be a lot of fun if we let it. It is also so much more fun for kids when we are truly having a blast along with them.

We parents need magical moments, too.