“Play is the work of the child” -Maria Montessori
SO WHY THEMES?
It’s not really about the themes themselves, right? It’s all about the children, their lives, and their legacy.
Children love playing dress up and pretend. It is one of those fleeting and precious phases of childhood that we all remember wistfully: an innocent time of unlimited potential to be knights, princesses, dragon slayers, elves, and butterfly fairies. Children get to live in that blissful, magical world for only a few years, but those days are as close to perfection as anything I’ve seen on earth, and I’m honored to be the audience to three fantastic imaginations.
But just beyond the myths live real heroes: Joan of Arc, George Washington, Davy Crockett, Elizabeth I, Oskar Schindler, Neil Armstrong, and multiple real-life world-changers. As the children have grown, we have led them from fairy tale into epic history. We have created costumes and props and scenarios—as often as possible, we even travel to real locations to guide them into immersive and heroic experiences, to teach them the stories of their world, so they will always have stories of strong men and women to recall and a context for their own place in the world.
Finally, as Maria Montessori says in the above quote, the playground is where children work out the way they will relate to other people in future relationships, where they develop the wisdom they will display as adults, and even to a certain extent where they practice valor and bravery. Their “pretend” is the foreshadowing of their future stories. They practice, practice, practice for their own days on the stage… or in the workshop… or in battle… or at the head of the boardroom. So we as parents have chosen to gently guide our children’s play to train them into wise, strong, and valiant men and women, though we don’t know their plot twists yet.
That’s our WHY.
As to the pictures themselves, my husband and I like beautiful pictures, and this has been a creative outlet for both of us, PLUS it’s as close to a date night as we get sometimes, with three youngsters keeping us busy! The focus is on the children having fun being themselves while we capture those candid moments in a unique and beautiful way.
Finding Storybook Land is our way of charting what we have done so it can be replicated. Because I make many of the costumes and Zach builds many of the props, I give my best shot at tutorials for simple costumes and props for the crafty reader, and I also hope to begin offering a few staples from my Etsy store for those who do not have the time or equipment to sew.
We hope that as you browse through the posts and pictures you find the inspiration for your own creative shoots.