It's time to give.

No matter what, whether I am happy, sad, down, blue, gracious or any other of the multitudes of emotions us women experience, giving to others makes me happy. Making others smile makes me smile.

I have been watching the tragedies of Hurricane Haiyan and I feel helpless. Sometimes the world feels so big and I wonder, "How can I contribute and make a difference?"

I've learned from one of my mentors, Darrell Kopke, that you have to find what you are passionate about and make a choice as to how you can contribute. Align with your values and you will drive impactful, positive change. It is up to you to find your voice, discover your passion, and pursue it. He says, "I drive a V8, so I'm not saving the world by driving the vehicle I do. I do, however, invest in socially responsible companies while being a stand for profit and for people."

In his words, "You can't suffer for the suffering," but you can help be part of change. Follow what makes you naturally curious, it will lead you to your passions and purpose. This is how you will best affect change.

So I declare my contribution through Peekaboo Beans:
  1. To be a stand for the importance of play: I will be relentless in my efforts to educate about the importance of free, unstructured play for our children and future generations. I will make a product that supports a playful life.
  2. To give back to play: I will create opportunities to raise awareness and funds to build safe places for less fortunate children to play in through our charity partner: Playground Builders.
  3. To be a voice for working women: I will create a working environment for mothers that provides the space to be a mother first while being a creative and knowledgeable contributor to a society of meaningful work.
  4. To foster a community of entrepreneurs: To extend this mom-focused working environment, I will strive to build out an entrepreneurial platform that allows mothers the opportunity to stay at home, earn income, and be entrepreneurial on their own terms.

This month, you can help give the gift of play with our Playground Builders' "Purple and Green Hoodie" campaign. Buy a green "On the Go" or a purple "I Heart Play" Hoodie at a reduced price and $5.00 will go to buying the following pieces for a playground:
  • Swing set: $488
  • See Saw: $381
  • Bench: $74
  • Slide: $391
  • Monkey Bars: $73

By choosing to align with Peekaboo Beans you are standing with us as we choose to make a change. Together, we are:
  1. Giving the gift of play, for your children, my children, and children around the world.
  2. Giving the gift of change - through the voice of PB.
  3. Giving the gift of ethics in manufacturing practices.
  4. Giving the gift of supporting the local economy.
  5. Giving the gift of making a difference in the world. One Bean at a time.

What could be more perfect? Buying local, supporting the worldwide community, and all in the comfort of your own home! Does it get better than that?

In love and play,

24 days of PLAY!

At Peekaboo Beans, we are all about PLAY and the importance of it. So in order for you to take some time and remember to still have fun through all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, we have created this playful Holiday Advent Calendar for you to print, create and share with your Beans.

We have included some simple activities such as making paper snowflakes, and baking cookies to more playful creations like indoor snowball fights and balloon paddle ball. We love to keep the play alive for you and your Beans, so take advantage by creating some playful memories for your family this holiday season.

Click HERE to download your printable copy of our 24 days of PLAY Advent Calendar.

Happy Holidays!

There's no better reason.

November 30 is "SHOP LOCAL" day! 

I invite you to shop Local with Peekaboo Beans through your local Play Stylist all year long - but November 30, 2013 is shop local day. By doing this you are fueling our economy, creating jobs and spreading the VITAL importance of Play around the world! In particular if you purchase select products you will be helping build playgrounds in war torn countries through our partnership with Playground Builders!! 

So come PLAY with us and shop LOCAL on November 30th within the comforts of your own home. You really can't get much more local than that!  Peekaboo Beans is a born and raised Canadian company, so find a stylist near you and book your holiday Bean Soiree today. 

Ask Andrea, Our Play Maven.

I'm always struggling to engage all 3 of my beans (7 yo boy, 5 yo girl and 2 yo boy) in play together. Any suggestions on what I can do to incorporate all of them into a play activity? Is there something that they will all enjoy, understand and not argue about?

Play time offers children the opportunity to explore their try on different roles, test boundaries and explore relationships. Sometimes this results in conflict during play, particularly amongst siblings. Encouraging children to find their own solutions, to explore creative responses to each other and to tolerate uncomfortable feelings are some of the ways parents support their children's play. There can be challenges with including children of different ages in group play but the potential benefits are worth the hassle.

I would suggest you start with real life dramatic play in your quest to find enjoyment for your three beans. To engage your children in this type of play you might want to set up a part of your house or your playroom with the necessary items for a real life event that the children can engage with. For example, children love to play store. Try providing them with some play money, a cash register, an apron and a variety of different items that can be 'sold' and see how they navigate the different roles involved. Other popular 'real life' options for dramatic play are hospital, school and family.

The kids don't play anymore.

Originally posted by the Globe and Mail, November 16th.

The brand-new subdivisions of Toronto roll on and on into the cornfields, a new one every month. I drive by them all the time. This is where young families live. But the streets and sidewalks are eerily quiet. You hardly ever see a child. No kids riding bikes. No kids playing shinny. No kids running wild in packs until their moms call them in for supper. It’s as if the kids have vanished.

Where are they? Indoors, doing homework or playing Nintendo. In all-day kindergarten or regulated daycare. Instead of pickup street hockey, they’re playing organized sports with regularly scheduled practices and games, supervised by grown-ups. They’re at Kumon or dance or art, or swimming or tae kwon do. The children of the upper middle class are busy, busy, busy, with schedules that would rival that of any CEO.

It never stops. In high school, they start building their résumés for university. Community service? Check. Sports? Check. Squeeze in a part-time job. If they have some athletic talent, their parents will start investing serious time and money in it. By 18, they are seasoned veterans of the programmed life.

No wonder so many of them are helpless. All their lives, somebody else has told them what to do and where to be. Once they’re on their own, they fall apart. Universities report record levels of stress among their students. Professors complain that for their male students in particular, 19 is the new 17. The kids have never learned to stand on their own two feet.

Could it be that we are doing them more harm than good?

David Whitebread thinks so. He’s a psychologist at Cambridge University who specializes in the early years. He and 120 other experts have launched a campaign to get the British government to roll back early education, which begins at 5. Starting children too early on formal learning, he maintains, can cause “profound damage,” including stress and mental-health problems. Until age 7, what children really need is … play.

Play is a powerful way to impart social skills,writes Peter Gray, an evolutionary psychologist who believes children’s lives have become ruinously regimented. Play also teaches children how to manage intense negative emotions, such as fear and anger, and to test themselves by taking manageable risks. Unstructured and unsupervised (oh, horrors!) play is crucial for their development.

In play, children make their own decisions and solve their own problems,” Prof. Gray writes. “In adult-directed settings, children are weak and vulnerable. In play, they are strong and powerful. The play world is the child’s practice world for being an adult.

Those kids playing shinny until dusk weren’t just wasting time. They were learning life lessons in problem-solving, negotiation and resilience. And they were better off without your help.

In hunter-gatherer societies, children play constantly until late adolescence. But today, as Prof. Whitebread observes, play has been almost squeezed out of their lives by a risk-averse society, by our separation from nature and by our widespread cultural assumption that “earlier is better.”

But what’s really killed off play is a vast anxiety that kids who don’t receive the proper stimulation from a very early age – administered and overseen by professionals and parents – will lose out in the increasingly competitive game of life. That’s what’s behind the push to all-day kindergarten, a push that can have unfortunate results. Not all kids thrive. Some get anxious and stressed-out. It’s just too much, too soon.
Middle-class parents are understandably anxious to give their kids the best chance possible in life. That’s why they are willing to invest more in “kid credentialling” than ever. That’s why the word “parent” has turned from a noun into a verb. It’s not enough to just feed and clothe them any more. Now they must be guided through every step of life.

Today’s parents are closer to their kids than they ever were, and that’s mostly good. But closeness doesn’t always foster independence. The cellphone is an extension of the umbilical cord. The other day, I read an interview with a high-powered female executive who is also the mother of a 15-year-old girl. In the middle of the interview, her cellphone rang. It was her daughter, who was calling to ask her mom whether she should eat a cookie.

I grew up in the 1950s, which was another world. I roamed in packs with other kids, doing forbidden things (climbing on construction sites was a favourite) where you could actually get hurt. Sometimes, we didn’t see adults for hours on end. There were long stretches of boredom. I started babysitting my brother and sister when I was 10. When I went off to university, my folks and I hardly ever talked. There was one phone at the end of the hall for 38 students, and long distance was expensive. They had their lives and I had mine, and it was like that from very early on.

I’m not saying that was better. Kids today are exposed to enriching experiences my generation never dreamed of. They are stunningly accomplished. I’m glad I don’t have to compete with them.

Yet when I’m invited to sit on scholarship committees to choose the best and brightest – as I occasionally am – I sometimes pause. The candidates arrive with résumés that astonish. They have A-plus averages and swimming championships and they volunteer at orphanages in Nepal. They are good and kind, and they have so much going on that it’s a miracle they find time to sleep. But too many of them are a mile wide and an inch deep. They haven’t thought deeply about life. They are incredibly hard-working but utterly conventional. They are very, very good at jumping through hoops.

It would be nice to leave our kids alone sometimes to sit under trees and dream. Who knows? They might not even miss us.

Perhaps a little empathy is in order.

"The rate at which a person can mature is directly proportional to the embarrassment he can tolerate."
- Douglas Englebart

"I have learned that there is a certain character to be built from embarrassing yourself endlessly.  If you can sit happily with embarrassment there's not much else that can get to you."
- Christian Bale

"Keep moving people....there's nothing to see here...."
- Grandma Bean

I've been reading a lot in the paper these days about the Mayor of Toronto and certain videos and pictures that are surfacing and it made me think three things:

1.)    Here's a man in serious need of help and I hope he gets it.
2.)    He needs to get new friends.
3.).   I'm glad there was no such thing as cell phone cameras back in the day when I was doing embarrassing things.

I have made a list of a few things that I'm glad were not caught on camera:

The time I lost my temper and threw a set of keys across the room, leaving a key-shaped impression in my kitchen wall.

The time I lost my temper and slammed open the bedroom door leaving a door-knob shaped impression in the bedroom wall.  (Anyone see a pattern here?)

The time I tucked an umbrella under my right arm, then glanced to my right and glimpsed the umbrella shape, thought someone was standing next to me, fell over backwards and left a Carole-shaped impression in the hallway wall.

The time I got very drunk at a party when I was young (but old enough to know better) and threw up behind the Juniper bush in my friends back-yard.

The time I accidentally hopped into the wrong car when I was waiting to be picked up, latched the seat belt and sat ready to be transported and didn't clue in until I heard, "Um.....excuse me Ma'am" from the complete stranger sitting in the drivers seat.

The time I was in labor with my first child and things weren't progressing after 12 hours of exhausting contractions and the doctor came in at midnight and told me if I hadn't delivered by morning they would consider a C-Section and I grabbed the front of his shirt, pulled his face down to mine and and yelled, "I'LL BE DEAD BY MORNING!!!"

The time I got sick at work and almost passed out after standing too long doing a procedure and my friends rushed me into the trauma room and yelled for the ER doctor and he came running over and started to examine me and I let out a flatus the size of a small child in front of everyone.

So I guess what I'm saying is, we are all just a cell phone camera click away from total and complete embarrassment.  Perhaps a little empathy is in order.



Celebrating Kindness

Happy World Kindness Day CiCi girls & mama's!

Kindness is a funny thing. Think about it! The last time someone did something kind for you, it most likely changed your whole day for the better. Even the smallest gestures of kindness can make a huge difference on the way you make someone else feel. A smile, a hug, or even, a compliment! And there is no denying how great you feel when you do something kind for someone else.

In honour of World Kindness Day, we're celebrating those random acts of thoughtfulness that make our world a better place with an awesome giveaway!

We want to hear from YOU! Tell us your stories of something kind you did for a BFF or something that she did for you, and both of you will be entered to WIN 3 CiCi Bean pieces EACH from our With All My Heart collection (view the online CiCi Bean With All My Heart collection catalogue here).

To enter:
Head over to the CiCi Bean blog and post your caption in the comments section of the blog post. One entry per person.

Contest Details:
Contest closes Monday, November 18th, 2013 at 10pm PST.  Our lucky winner will be drawn at random and announced on our blog Friday, November 19th. Contest is not open to Peekaboo Beans Play Stylists.

We can't wait to hear your kindness stories! Good luck!

Giving the gift of PLAY!

We want ALL children to have the right to PLAY! 

So this holiday season we are gearing up and offering you 2 of our best sellers in purple and green (our signature PB colours!) and giving the gift of PLAY to those children who need it the most. 

From now until December 9th purchase either the On the Go Hoodie in Emerald at a discounted rate of $40 (regular $50) or the I Heart Play Hoodie in Purple at a discounted rate of $45 (regular $56) and we will donate $5 from each of these fabulous styles to our friends and partners in play... Playground Builders

Together with your help, we can give the gift of PLAY!

To purchase contact your local Peekaboo Beans Play Stylist or shop On-Vine at

How bad can it be?

"I believe everyone should have a broad picture of how the Universe operates and our place in it.  It is a basic human desire. And it also puts our worries into perspective."
- Stephen Hawking

"A brain hemorrhage puts it all in a deeper perspective.  I'm one of the guys hit by lightning.  I see the big picture.  Everything is in perspective now.  Let's just say I'm the kind of guy who knows how to enjoy the moment."
- Bret Michaels

"Call the Police.......someone ate my chocolate!!"
- Grandma Bean

As I came home from shopping the other day, my hubby greeted me with the words, "I have bad news."  "Oh my gosh, what happened," I asked, alarmed. "The toilet in the ensuite has a leak," he told me.  Well apparently we have very different ideas on what constitutes "bad news".  Bad news to me is your Grandma died or the dog is sick or your hubby found that Mars Bar you have been hiding in the back of the cupboard, and ate it.  It got me thinking about what we consider bad news. 

Coming from my Nursing background, I have a very clear idea of what is and is not bad news. The worst thing I ever had to deal with in my Nursing career was when a beautiful young man from a loving family made a very foolish decision to try to smuggle a very small amount of cocaine into the country after traveling.  He swallowed a condom filled with cocaine, the condom broke open as his plane landed and he ended up in my ICU on a ventilator.  He lived three days but never regained consciousness.  The hardest call I ever had to make was to his family when they finally left to get a little rest and I had to tell them he was not doing well and to come back quickly.  So to me, bad news is certainly not "the toilet is leaking." 

Here are some definitions to keep in mind:

Catastrophe:  A sudden unexpected event that causes great damage or suffering; a final decisive event, usually with a disastrous end.
Syn: Disaster, calamity, accident, cataclysm.

Inconvenience:  Trouble or difficulty disrupting personal requirements or comfort; cause trouble or discomfort to.
Syn. Trouble, bother, nuisance, discomfort.

Broadly speaking, everything is relative.  We all have bad days when things seem way worse than they actually are.  But these are a few things to keep in mind for anyone who thinks a leaking toilet is bad news.  Perspective is everything.  You will never ever hear me uttering the words "bad news" or "bad luck," over anything that is a minor inconvenience.  As long as my family is well, everything else is gravy.  In the meantime, if you need me, I will be at the store.  Apparently we are out of Mars Bars.


Caption This... and WIN!

Contest Time!! We want you to CAPTION THIS Peekaboo Beans playful photo. 

What do you think these playful Beans are talking about? 

Share with us your caption and be entered to WIN $75 in Peekaboo Beans Play Money
towards any pieces of your choice from our FUNdamentals collection.  

Tiny Print: 
To enter, post your caption in the comments section of this blog post. One entry per person. Contest closes Thursday, November 7th, 2013 at 10pm PST.  Our lucky winner will be drawn at random and announced in our BeansTalk Newsletter on Friday, November 8th.
Contest is not open to Peekaboo Beans Play Stylists.