Little girls, preschoolers, love two mythical creatures most – unicorns and mermaids. Themed children’s parties often embrace one or the other of these and when Jackie and her friend Lois started the Five Enchanted Mermaids, they had to decide which of these two paths to take. The name, Five Enchanted Mermaids, is a spoiler. Yes, they chose mermaids.
The first product was a set of party supplies with a mermaid theme but even before this, the “dynamic duo” wanted to provide something which would be fun and entertaining but also support parents who are developing their preschoolers at this critical age.
Every day, parents impart new ideas and values to their preschoolers. This age, 3-5 years, is one where many of the habits and traits needed for success in school, and late life, are communicated and reenforced.
Different parents use different ways of doing this but scientific studies show that two approaches provide the best vehicle form getting the messages across. These are stories and the establishment of role models.
Stories allow the child’s mind and imagination to explore aspects which may be outside their day-to-day experiences. They can fantasize about the characters and learn lessons from the plots played out in the stories.
Role models provide a different challenge. Whereas the parent can, and should be the principal role model, children cannot always associate their situation with that of a grown up. It is easier for them to associate with peers who are closer in age and this can be other children (including siblings) or characters in stories.
While the human peer character (e.g. another child) is, indeed, closest, they do not allow the child’s imagination to roam fully and often use of a mythical creature is better or at least an alternative approach.
Little girls like unicorns but these tend to be almost too mythical. They are fun to play with but in learning, they are just a stretch too far. The child does not associate these creatures with showing how they should behave themselves.
Mermaids are the other “go to” creatures that the preschooler loves and these provide a more human form while still providing the mythical and “super power” characteristics. Mermaids are mainly human and the child finds it easy to associate with messages from these somewhat mythical creatures.
When Jackie and Lois developed the Five Enchanted Mermaids, the basic premise was to create characters with whom preschoolers could associate as well as empowering the mermaids with special skills. These were the most important traits of independence, courage, honesty, kindness and confidence. As well, the mermaids, who are close friends, introduced the concept of diversity with each mermaid coming from a different ethnicity. The ladies needed to decide which would be best for their objective – mermaids, who are mainly human, or unicorns, who are not.
They chose mermaids.
The Five Enchanted Mermaids celebrate diversity in our world and the belief that each child deserves to have a mermaid that looks like them. Through their individual personalities and traits, they weave stories that help teach skills for children in this age group.
The idea for the Five Enchanted Mermaids was born to provide a fun but educational backdrop for girls aged 3 to 7 years. The characters address emotional skills (making friends, resolving conflicts, coping with change, making their own choices and “being good people”) and educational skills (learning to read, the alphabet, counting, symmetrical shapes, time, value of monetary coins/notes) that are important at that age in the development of young girls.
The stories use each of the diverse mermaids as a role model for behavior and values.
LifeMadeSimple, LLC and acclaimed children’s book author, Lois Petren, are collaborating to provide a series of books, party accessories and other appropriate items to support these goals.
Visit us at www.fiveenchantedmermaids.com