The Importance of Time to Just Be

The Importance of Time to Just Be

I am sitting on a train to NYC and I just received an email from Virgin Atlantic telling me that my flight has been rescheduled.  I am going to London for my brother’s 50th birthday celebration. I was supposed to fly out today at 9pm, but my flight has been delayed by 2 hours.  Dear lord, why is nothing ever simple?  

Being an adult is hard, as I remind my kids every day.  I have a 19 year old girl, Georgie, and an 11 year old boy, Harry.  But you know what I also know. Being a kid is hard too.  Kids are herded around their whole lives; into day care, then preschool, then grade school, then middle school, then high school, then college…

In the summertime they are herded into camps.  After school they are herded into a slew of afterschool activities.  If they are lucky, they may get taken on the occasional vacation, but even then they are often herded into more activities and camps.  It never stops. Like wildebeest in the Serengeti, they are herded here, there, and everywhere without a moment to stop, to think, to reset, to be. 

Here at Little Pickles we believe in the importance of allowing children time to just be. To be with themselves. To be with their siblings. To be with their parents. To be with their friends.  To switch off. To unplug.  

Once we give children some free time, without any structure or obligations, their imagination will light up and their creativity will start to burn.  Boredom provides an ember that softly glows and lights up their imagination and with the right materials to play with, the possibilities are endless.  Creativity needs time. Play needs time. 

Every item in our catalog of toys and activities has been carefully selected to foster a child’s imagination and unleash their creativity. I would like to showcase a few of my favorites here: 

Sarah’s Silks -

With their bright colors and oh so silky texture, Sarah’s Silks are a must have in the playroom for kids ages 3-8.  You’re having a tea party and need a placemat, go grab a Sarah’s Silk. You’re a ballerina performing on the stage, go grab a Sarah’s Silk.  You’re a magician and you want flowers to pop out of your top hat, go grab a Sarah’s Silk.   You’re a knight who just got impaled with a sword and blood is gushing out of the wound, go grab a Sarah’s Silk. Sarah’s Silks are delightful and versatile, they offer endless possibilities for play. 

Sarah’s Silks also makes floaty, dreamy Fairy Wings in various gorgeous colors and patterns (my personal favorite is Starry Night), Silk & Wood Streamer Wands, and Silk Swords, all of which enhance and elevate a child’s play experience.  We carry them all on our site. 


I used to teach Pre-K at the Roosevelt Island Day Nursery in NYC.  The most sought after item in the classroom when the children could choose their activities was Magna-Tiles.  I used to own and run a daycare. Once again the most sought after item was the Magna-Tiles

Magna-Tiles are magnetic geometric tiles that can be used to build 3-dimensional structures.  I have witnessed young architects build castles, parking garages, zoos, aquariums, bridges, apartment buildings and many more structures.  Magna-Tiles allow children to construct amazing structures and to feel accomplished and capable.  I have seen pride in the eyes of children who have created incredible structures. Magna-Tiles boost children’s self-confidence.   I firmly believe that Magna-Tiles should be in the Toy Hall of Fame if they aren’t already. They are always in my top 5 toys of all time.

If you are just starting out, my recommendation is to buy the classic Magna-Tiles 100 Piece Set.  From here you can add on any of their other sets over the coming months and years. But this set is a must have for any household with kids ages 3-10 years. 

Hape Play Foods 

Hape is a German toy manufacturer that makes high-quality toys primarily out of wood.  I am a huge fan of the brand in general, but am particularly devoted to their extensive line of play foods.  Children learn by copying and pretending to be adults.  That is an essential part of play.  At home, children witness the caregivers in their lives partake in the daily routines of running a household.  Cooking is an essential aspect of life in every household across the globe.  As we take time to prepare and cook meals,  we demonstrate caring and love to our children, our families, and our friends. 

Most toddlers and preschoolers first pretend play is cooking.  They take pots and pans and foods and pretend to make a meal.  Hape has an incredible selection of play foods and culinary tools for the budding young chef.  I am a big fan of their new Slurp Slurp Udon Set and Ding & Pop Up Toaster; both are featured on our site. I am an enthusiastic home-cook myself and anything that fosters a love of food and cooking in a child has my seal of approval.

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