Mighty Girls Club

This empowering club is for boys and girls.

I’ve been preparing the co-op classes that I will offer next semester in our two co-op groups, and I am most excited about starting a Mighty Girls Club for children ages 5 to 8. If you aren’t familiar with A Mighty Girl, you can visit it online here.

It’s a wonderful hub of information about empowering literature, films, and even gifts that feature strong female heroines, meaningful female relationships, and yes, stuff that passes that ol’ Bechdel Test. They even have a new character collection of various female heroes that you can read about, buy action figures of, and celebrate, too! I really, really want a Serafina Pekkola figure from The Golden Compass

Anyhow, the club isn’t just for girls. Boys need to celebrate female heroes and protagonists, too—just as girls have done with boy heroes for centuries, after all—not just for equality but to realize that heroes come in all genders and from all backgrounds. So as I prepare to host my Mighty Girls Club this semester, I have opened it up for boys as well.

I can’t wait to read books like The Red Wolf, Grace for President, and The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything with this group! We won’t be stopping there, though. We’ll also be making crafts or experiments that go along with the books (I’m still working on these; they are proving to be challenging!), playing games, and discussing not just the books but what makes us mighty, too.

I am thinking I’ll use themes for this, such as mighty heart, mighty mind, mighty body, etc. I am only having the club once a month to start so hopefully I’ll be able to come up with enough themes.  I think at the end of the group, I may also hold a Mighty Movie Marathon if kids are interested and show movies like Brave and My Neighbor Totoro.

I also want to extend it into my local co-op, but I have taught some classes two or three times a month before and know it can get tiring, especially when you host at your home. So after I give it a go, I’ll be able to see how well it works out and decide whether or not I want to teach them again.

I am so excited about this class and cannot wait to be mighty and share our mightiness together!

And they call us weird?

To me, homeschoolers are the “normal,” crowd, whatever that means…

Maybe it’s because I’m around homeschoolers all of the time, or maybe it’s because of my philosophy of life that families and communities were meant to be together and help one another rather than separate and segregate from each other—but when I’m around parents of “schooled” kids, I get rather uncomfortable.

I have a few friends, mind you, with public schooled kids that I get along very well with; my best friend is one of them. But for the most part, we just don’t click. Wednesday night we went to a school cafeteria for a Girl Scouts meeting, and there was a mom across from me wearing a bra with a tiny tank top over it so you could see right through it and around it! I was a bit dumbstruck, but whatever; I’m certainly not the fashion police.

Then the leaders asked us to sit and have a meeting while our kids were taken out of the cafeteria for an “activity.” Everyone was just fine with these strangers taking our kids off to do something! I guess they’re used to handing their kids to strangers every year. What if they were going to sing some religious song? What if they didn’t watch our kids and one wandered off somewhere? I know I’m embodying the crazy, worried, overprotective mom that many think we homeschoolers are, but it’s a valid concern. My kid’s quite capable and I was okay, but it was still weird.

Then the parents were all chatting about how Girl Scouts is a good time to spend quality time with your daughter since many of us don’t get to in our “busy lives.” Seriously? If your quality time with your child is limited to once or twice a month, maybe you shouldn’t be having children. I’m not here to judge people, but I keep hearing parents tell me, “Oh, I would love to homeschool; I just don’t think I could be around my own child all day.”

They act like homeschooling is the weird thing to do and school is the norm, when it is the exact opposite. As Wendy Priesnitz, editor of Life Learning Magazine, says,

“Home-based education is not an experiment. It’s how people learned to function in the world for centuries. And there is no reason to think people today can’t do the same thing. School is the experiment, not the lack of it. And I think that experiment is in trouble.”

We are mammals; we are meant to learn from our families and small, close-knit communities. And our lives are where learning occurs—not just in some building from some book chosen by some politician.

Before I begin to sound like a conspiracy theorist—and I suppose I am a bit of one—then there were parents complaining about being a leader for a troop. One mom said that she would, but she wouldn’t be able to stick with it—and she had a son, so that made her too busy.

Again…really? About half of the homeschool moms that I know work either part or full time, care for a home and children and pets like everybody else—plus volunteer with our groups and teach co-op classes, homeschool their kids, and partake in other activities. I just have to wonder at what “busy” means to different people. Not that “busy” is a good word—I think Americans are way too busy for our own good, and if this mom was expressing that she was just partaking in self-care, I am on board!—but I do wonder, all the same.

Leaving the building, I saw a sign that said, “Mrs. R’s Robots.” Every child’s name was on a robot. I get that this was supposed to be a fun way to highlight students, but it gave me a bit of a shudder all the same. Robots, indeed.

Why Follow American Girl Online?

American Girl is a leader in the doll manufacturing business. For decades, the company has been creating wholesome images for young ladies to enjoy. These images are dolls that come in all sorts of images to represent American girls. For many, the best access to these dolls is through local stores or even buying from the company's website. However, there are a few tips to getting the most up to date information possible.

One of the ways to find the best access to information and resources about American Girl is to follow the company online. You can and should follow the American Girl Facebook page, for example. This page gives you updates on what is happening with the company. It can also provide you with outstanding access to the best deals and accessories as they come out. Any Facebook user can have free access to the page and you don't have to buy anything or sign up for anything to join.

There are a few other benefits to joining the Facebook page for American Girl. For example, the site posts information for parents on how to care for these dolls including collector's information. You can also schedule a special event or personal shopping appointment by using the page. That is the perfect way to gain access to the various resources the company has to offer.

For those that love American Girl, one of the best benefits to connecting with the company online is being able to find others that love this lineup of dolls as much as you do. Check out what other parents are doing to enjoy this experience.

New Catalog Launches

There is just something very special about American Girl dolls. In addition, with last week's release of the new American Girl Doll catalog, there is more excitement than ever. The catalog provides a glimpse into everything that is available for this collection quality, girl-loving set of dolls. It is sure to be one of the best tools available to help individuals who need a bit of encouragement to pick out their favorites from this year's collection.

For those who are looking for a way to dive into this collection, perhaps even purchase a first doll, there are numerous products to choose from. The catalog displays most of the products offered, but there are additional products available online. Individuals may wish to sign up for the company's email list to get exclusive offers and discounts - something that's great for learning about new releases, too. You can play video games and shop at the site as well.

What is nice about the catalog is its fresh look and dolls. Though all of the favorites are back, the catalog does feature the new releases for the year as well, including all of the accessories you will need to play with and treasure your dolls.

For those parents who are hearing about American Girl dolls for the first time, realize these dolls are collector's items. They are beautiful and well made. What makes them stand out, though, is that the dolls offer good, wholesome values for today's young ladies. That is something that is often missing in other doll collections on the market.

Taking Care of Your American Girl Doll

 

American Girl dolls are very valuable and it is no surprise that these well-made and much loved dolls would be passed down from one generation to the next. If you want to protect your investment, it is up to you to do so by taking care of the integrity of the doll itself. Preserving it is an important step in caring for it and even young children can play a role in doing just that.

Tips for Caring for Your American Girl Doll

For those that own these dolls, there are a few things to do to ensure they are always in the best possible care. Work with children to ensure they do these things to protect the dolls.

  • Always ensure your doll is not soiled from the surroundings or from your hands. Wash your hands before playing with it.
  • Be sure to take time to brush through her hair, just as you do your own. Doing so will help prevent any tangles and will ensure the hair remains properly laying. If it does get knotted, add a small amount of water to the doll's hair or use a small amount of conditioner in it.
  • If the doll's face gets smudged, which is something that can happen often, use a small amount of baking soda on a damp washcloth to wash off the blemishes. Do not scrub them harshly.

Always follow the care instructions provided to you by the American Girl brand manufacturer. That helps ensure the dolls stay in great looking condition long term.

Caring For Curly Doll Hair

When it comes to the American Girl dolls, it is often important for their owners to do whatever they can to take proper care of them. These are cheaply made dolls that make it easy to toss away if damaged. No, because of their price point, their owners want to do their best to take care of the doll. One facet of caring for these dolls is caring for the hair of the doll.

In an earlier post, I have talked about how to take care of the hair of an American Girl doll. While that may be useful for caring for a doll with straight hair, if you have a doll with curly hair, there is a different approach that you may want to take.

The first step to caring for a doll with curly hair is to detangle the hair with a metal comb that is made specifically for dolls. The easiest way to do this is to divide the hair into sections and carefully work at each section.

After the hair is detangled, it is time to use a mild shampoo to wash the dolls hair. Carefully, wet the hair with warm water. When wetting the hair, you may want to use a wash cloth or towel to protect the body of the doll. After the hair is wet, apply the shampoo and rinse thoroughly with cold water.

To dry the hair, you will want to gently pat it dry with a towel and then allow to air dry. Make sure not to wring the hair as it can damage it.

If the curls need to be revived, you can do so after washing the doll’s hair, but before the hair dries completely. The curls can be shaped with the use of your fingers. Gently curl the hair around your fingers.

With these tips, you can keep your American Girl’s hair looking like new with no tangles and frizz free.

American Girl Fashion Show - Girls Love Participating

 

One of the many things girls enjoy about the American Girl dolls is just how much they can relate to the doll. The American Girl Fashion Show is a large event that takes place annually. Leading up to it are numerous smaller and local shows that allow girls and their dolls to walk down the runway to show off their look and their charm. That is just what happened at the in Baltimore.

The Event

The event brought out more than 200 girls with their American Girl Dolls. The girls took to the runway on January 28th to showcase their dolls and their pint-sized smiles. Each of the girls walking down the runway was hoping to be one of the two lucky ones to be picked to head to the larger, national show held at the hippodrome Theater. That show will be on March 24th and March 25th of this year. Those who are selected to participate in the event will be notified on February 3rd.

This instant pointless fun, though. The event will benefit the University of Maryland Children's Hospital as well as the Cool Kids Campaign. These programs work with children who are diagnosed with and facing cancer treatments.

Those who participate in the fashion show will have a blast. There will be fun party favors, music and food to celebrate. What's more, you do not have to be a professional model to be a part of the event. According to those from American Girl hosting the event this previous week, 90 percent of those who participated in the event were not professional models. 

How to Save Money on Dolls and Accessories

Although American Girl dolls are an all-over great toy and collectible for children, they can often be an expensive purchase, especially if you want to purchase all the accessories for the dolls as well. Luckily, there are ways that you can save money on both the dolls and accessories.

One way to save money is to purchase the complete collection instead of purchasing each item individually. While this will not save you a ton of money, it will ensure that you get all the items you want and help you to save a little.

Another way to save money on the dolls and the accessories is to search for the ones you want on auction sites or listings sites such as e-Bay and Craigslist. With sites like these you can often find gently used American Girls and accessories with a much lower price tag. One thing that you need to be sure of before purchasing them is either getting pictures of the products if you order them online, or if you are purchasing them locally to fully examine them before you buy. This is important because it most cases, you won't have any recourse if they are broken.

One final suggestion to save money on the accessories for the dolls is to check out alternative solutions for them. In some cases, you can find the same accessories for much cheaper at a hobby store or a doll store. For example, I remember one time visiting a hobby store and finding the exact desk that was sold for the Samantha doll for much cheaper.

Caring For Your Dolls Hair

One of the biggest frustrations of having an American Girl doll, and one that I experienced personally when I was younger is that the hair of the doll can easily become tangled and matted; turning the doll’s hair from a beautiful silky smooth to a complete mess. It doesn’t even take playing heavily with the doll, just normal clothing changes and caring it around can make the hair into a mess. In order to combat this problem with the hair, I have done a bit of research on ways to make caring for the doll’s hair easier.

One tip to help manage the hair of your American Girl doll is to use a wig brush. This type of brush has a rubber base and metal teeth. The American Girl company sells a small version of this brush, but a regular wig brush will do just as well. Additionally, you may find that a normal sized brush is easier to use than the smaller sized brush.

In addition to having a wig brush to use, many people find that it is useful to use a detangling spray. You can purchase either regular detangling spray or make some of your own by mixing water and fabric softener. One thing to note that if making your own, it should only be used on the doll and not for human hair.

One last tip to help manage your American Girl’s hair is to never use your own personal brush on the doll. This will transfer oils from your hair to your doll and make it more likely to attract dirt.

About Girl of the Year Dolls

In 2001 The American Girl Company first introduced the “Girl of The Year” collection of dolls. This collection of dolls featured modern girls that were only available for a limited time.  Each of these modern girls were released with having a special hobby or theme. Additionally, these dolls were based off of real girls who won the through a contest or other method. Many times these dolls were used in conjunction with a campaign to promote different causes such as anti-bullying or wildlife preservation.

Each of these “Girl of the Year” dolls were released alongside an initial book that tells the story of the girl. These books are slightly longer than the books that are released for the regular American Girl dolls, and often focus on the hobby of the girl. Originally, only one book was released for each girl, but starting in 2007 the dolls in this collection began having an additional book to purchase as well.

Along with the books, a collection of accessories and clothes were released for each doll as well. Although the first few had limited collections, the later ones had much larger collections released. These items are now available for purchase at the start of each year when the doll is originally released in January.

Each of these dolls are only available for a limited time, from January to December. As the items are sold out towards the end of the year, they are not restocked and considered retired. After the end of the December, the whole collection is officially retired and a new doll isn’t announced until January.

Currently there have been 10 “Girl of the Year” dolls released. The names of these dolls are Lindsey, Kailey, Marisol, Jess, Nicki, Mia, Chrissa, Lani, Kanani, and McKenna.

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