My girls are in LOVE with princesses. It is all they talk about, think about and want to do all day long is be princesses. It drives me crazy sometimes because it is foreign to me. Besides playing Cinderella in a church play YEARS ago and loving that movie even now I was never overly interested in princesses. But I don't think it is a "problem" with my kids because they do have balance. They love playing with other toys, being outside and get dirty better than most little kids I know! I think balance is important but also letting them enjoy what they like is important too.
So, I try to incorporate princesses into our nature play and nature learning. If you have princess loving little girls at your house here are some ways to show them that princess know about nature too!
Books are one place to start!
Even though Fancy Nancy isn't actually a princess for my girls she still falls into that category and they love hearing about her outdoor adventures and nature themed stories. Here are some that we enjoy.
Another great author that fits us perfectly right now is Carmeal LaVigna Coyle. I love how her books show little girls that you can be a princess but also do and enjoy other things as well!
Today, I had four little girls at my house that like dressing up. Then they found the giant bin of puppets and wanted a puppet show. But of course the show HAD to include a princess. So, I grabbed the priness puppet and told these little girls a whole story about how the princess had lost her best friend. While she was out looking for her best friend she ran into all kinds of people and animals. She would ask for their help to find her best friend and she would describe the friend she was looking for (eats acorns, lives in trees, brown, has fur, long tail, small hands, walks on four feet, etc.). Each friend would guess an animal that she was looking for but no one got it right. Finally the giraffe was able to help the princess find her best friend...the squirrel! They had all guessed which animal it was already but I just kept going with the story telling them they would have to wait for the princess to find her friend for them to find out. The kids loved the puppet show and asked me to do it again and again. We tried many different animals and had a great time with this game.
Other ways you can incorporate princesses into outdoor and nature play -
- Let your kids take their princess dolls or figurines outside to play or on a hike with them.
- Build an outdoor play area for your princess doll or figurine (buying a small, completely plastic doll may help make this easier and not ruin the doll).
- Let your kids wear their favorite piece of dress up while they are outside or on a hike.
- Buy princess themed outdoor gear; binoculars, gardening tools, water bottle, balls and other outdoor toys.
- When they are dressed up like princesses and playing pretend, encourage them to be princess explorers, hikers or other incorporating other outdoor adventure activities into their pretend play (the stairs can become a huge mountain for princesses to climb!).
What are your kiddos interested in? How do you encourage their interest but keep them balanced at the same time?
The Nitty Gritty!
I strongly believe in balance for everything that my kids do. But sometimes it is just so easy to give in to their obsession. When they want a book to read, a toy to play with or I need an on the go activity it is always easiest to go with something princess themed. It takes more work for me to encourage something else, to be excited about something else so they will too. Maintaining balance in what they play with and love is something that I have to be aware of and think about all the time. I'm not perfect at it and I do give in but because I think it is important I continue to try my best.
Is there anything wrong with them loving princesses? I have no idea. I am sure some child pschologist somewhere could tell me all the ways the image of the princess is setting my daughter up for failure and there are probably others that would say the opposite. I have no idea. I just think that everything in their life from what they eat, watch, play with, read and do should all be balanced. Just my thoughts, with no real science to back that up!
Do you try to maintain balance? Why do you feel it is (or isn't) important?