As I get ready to welcome a second child into our lives I've been spending some time thinking about what parenting decisions that I am really proud to have made the first time around. Looking back, there are definitely many things I would change, but one thing that I am so proud of is the choice to keep limited, and simple toys in Luke's world. There's a saying that goes, "The more the toy does, the less the child has to do." And, as many of us know, play is a child's work; so, I want my kids to work hard, not just sit back and let the toys do the work for them. And so, I figure I might as well share some of my favourite toys that I recommend any/all parents to get for their children here on the blog. Today's post is all about playsilks.
We got Luke his playsilks for his first Christmas. He was 8 and 1/2 months old and loved playing peek-a-boo so I thought this would be the prefect present for him. He LOVED them. They were soft, vibrant, and so light. They were perfect for him to learn how to cover himself up and hide, and light enough for him to pull off to reveal himself to us again. Countless hours were spent playing with the silks in the months following Christmas.
Whenever I have babies over for My Smart Hands, baby signing, classes, I always haul out the basket of playsilks and they are always a big hit with the new kiddos. Parents are always asking me where I got them, and commenting on what a great idea it is.
We have used our playsilks in tons of different ways. For Luke's first birthday we hung them from our ceiling like "streamers" and Luke was in awe! He kept pointing and saying "oooo". Honestly, he didn't care about his other presents because he was so busy staring up at the ceiling. We also used a few to decorate/present the shelf where we displayed all of his presents. I've seen other parents use playsilks to wrap presents rather than buy wrapping paper --- save the environment, stimulate the senses, use playsilks.
As Luke's grown he's really enjoyed "wearing" the silks. There is rarely a day that passes without the silks being used as some sort of cape or headgear. With a husband who loves comic books, Luke definitely has been exposed to the world of superheroes from an early age, and he always pretends he's Superman with the read cape one, Batman with the blue, etc.
Mitch has introduced Luke to the world of knights and archers, and so a good sword fight is not complete without the power that comes from the playsilk cloaks :) Luke is only 27 months old, but as his imagination grows the silks will only continue to be used in new and vibrant ways, I'm sure!
I have three wonderful nieces (ages, 5, 5 and 7) and they always are excited to pull out the basket of silks whenever they are over to visit too. Common themes for them are pretending they are princesses and dancers with gorgeous dresses, or Rapunzel with flowing long hair, and lots of pirate play too!
Anyway, I love playsilks! There are tons of different places to get them. Many people sell them on Etsy, or you can make your own. Silk is quite expensive, and you don't necessarily need to get "fancy" ones... head out to Value Village or other thrift stores and look for old silk scarves. Personally, I love Sarah's Silks. Yes they are pricey, but the quality is amazing. I ended up purchasing a couple bags of "seconds"-- these are cheaper than the regular ones because they are said to have some sort of sewing or dying error. I never noticed a thing wrong with any of the ones that I received, and plan to order more this way for the next baby.
Playsilks.... used in Waldorf Schools and Childcare facilities world wide. Let your child's imagination soar, by providing quality, simple toys, that allow your child to do the work :)