As I enter my last week before I start my big girl job, I’ve had lots of time to reflect on all my babysitting gigs with preschoolers of all “flavors” over the past many years during undergrad and grad school. I was at my favorite coffee shop the other day, and made a list of the most important life lessons I’ve learned from my tiny friends.
1. Play Doh is equal parts overwhelming and awesome. 2. A hug makes everything better. 3. There are never enough questions. 4. Outside is always best. 5. Take time to befriend the birds… and the ants…worms, butterflies and flowers – but stay away from bees, flies and spiders (unless they are itsy bitsy). 6. Legos aren’t for the conceptually challenged, but a preschooler won’t judge you for that. 7. Use your imagination every day.
8. Dress-up is where it’s at. 9. The key to a successful pirate sword fight is to keep your knees bent. 10. The smaller pillows are actually best for fending off enemy nerf bullets because they are lighter and easier to move. 11. (and, this is a direct quote) “Winnie the Pooh is a boy but he likes wearing dresses.” I’m just sharing the facts. 12. If it’s anywhere other than the regular place where they eat, it’s a picnic. It doesn’t have to be outside. 13. Anyone who says they are too old to play with Little People is lying and probably secretly yearning for a Little People set of their own. 14. Duplos win. 15. Dance parties are better with tutus or Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella dresses. 16. It’s never too late to be invited to the ball.
17. Anyone can learn to throw a football. 18. Plasma cars aren’t as stressful for the kids as they are for the grown up. 19. Playing construction is actually awesome. 20. Pillow fights, pirate fights and nerf wars are great cardio.
Little folks have amazing insight and limitless perspective to offer a world that often needs to re-imagine. So, whenever possible, make little friends wherever you go.