There is no denying that technology in the world we live in today has taken over. It's everywhere and even the youngest generations are catching on at rapid speed. The challenges we face as parents in today's society when it comes to technology are unprecedented. It is important to keep children's imaginations alive so our vision was simply to create an environment in our community that inspires children to use creativity and imagination through play.
Take a moment and go down memory lane with us... think back to when you were a young child. What types of activities and things did you do for entertainment? Not looking to age any of us, but you can probably agree it didn't involve much tv, right? Granted, we didn't have the hundreds of Disney movies, Netflix shows, Amazon movies, Youtube channels, yadda yadda yadda. Were you encouraged to find something to do outside? Or maybe you were encouraged to use your creativity and imagination to come up with something to do. As a little human watching your parents carry out daily tasks of adulthood, did you ever pretend to be mom or dad and play house? What about attending to the weekly "grocery shopping" in your kitchen pantry, a task maybe you are not a fan of now that you are an adult but sure did enjoy as a kid. Perhaps you were all about fire trucks and firemen, zipping around the house with your "wee ooo, wee ooo" sounds and maybe if you were lucky a fireman's hat and/or jacket to go along with? Maybe you dreamt about being a vet one day or a doctor and you'd pretend to take care of those stuffed animals with a bum leg or check out a patient friend not feeling well. Oh, and let's not forget about serving up a chocolate milkshake, a slice of pizza or a basket of french fries in your pretend cafe, right? How many of us can relate here and have memories just like those mentioned above?
Do you ever feel like kids are losing that time to just simply be a kid? Time to just pretend play and let their imagination and creativity run wild and free. While advancements in technology are fast changing and there is no turning back, there is one thing we as parent's and caregivers can do and we would agree with all the psychologists and child development experts out there, that it is one of the BEST things we can do for our children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, etc. and that is to promote and encourage PLAY. Promote creativity and curiosity through PLAY. Studies have shown even the littlest ones can benefit from pretend play so it is never to early to start. Sparking a child's imagination, their curiosity, their creativity when they are young will without a doubt carry on as they grow into adulthood. We encourage you to be a part of those memories in the making AND we would love nothing more than to play a little part in making those memories as well here at Imagination Street!
And one more thing... as a SAHM for the past 4 years and for Pete and I, the parents of 4 young children, part of our vision from the beginning was to also create a space for parents and caregivers. You've heard that saying, "It takes a village", right? We hope Imagination Street will be the space that opens the door to new friendships, and a space that allows you to find and build YOUR "village". We know full well how hard and perhaps even isolating it can be as parents some days raising our young children. Somedays it's those little moments getting to chat with a friend to catch up on life, or maybe its small chat with a stranger that gives us the recharge we need to carry out the rest of our day. Those little moments can truly make an impact on your day and we are inspired by the thought of being a part of it. You may just find a new friend or better yet, your "village" here at Imagination Street so as you prepare for your visit soon, we encourage you to remember this:
Whether you are meeting a friend, or perhaps you don't know a soul, as you walk through our doors, BE THE DIFFERENCE in someone's day. There is one thing for sure that we as parents have in common when visiting Imagination Street and that is that we are walking through the same season of life. For our caregivers and grandparents visiting, you too can make a difference. Maybe you are well beyond your years of raising little ones, but perhaps a few encouraging words to a young mom is all it would take for her to know she isn't alone, that she too will make it through those hard days with little ones just like you did. Allow yourself to be open-minded and vulnerable and start up just a simple conversation with another mom, caregiver, grandparent, etc. you just never know what taking that first step could lead to.
For these reasons mentioned above and so so many more, we as the owners of Imagination Street are beyond excited to bring this uniquely designed space to Ankeny. We hope this is a space both children and adults look forward to visiting!
See you soon!