Have you watched a child look in the mirror after having their face painted? Or put on a superhero mask? Or just a new outfit they like? Their eyes widen a little and they quieten. They are 'trying it on', not just physically, but conceptually. Their imagination has just been engaged...and they are exploring an idea about themselves for a moment - "Who am I right now?". And this quiet moment matters.
In childhood we explore who we are in our world. In our family, classroom, playground. How should I behave right now? What's important to me here? Much of a child's life is directed, decreed + decided for them. When they eat + sleep, what + when + where + how they do things.
This is why PLAY is just so important.
Play is where kids get to practice life for themselves. Play is where kids work out the rules of the game, their if-this-then-that scenarios. In play they try out what makes them happy, what makes them laugh, what makes them brave, what makes them safe, what makes them win. And these moments matter.
Play teaches us how to make our dreams real.
When kids try clothes on in K.PLAY, they aren't just seeing if it fits them physically. Looking in the mirror, they aren't checking if it suits their body shape. A child is looking at their reflections and thinking "who am I now?". Its about their identity. Am I a princess or a 'grown up' girl wearing this dress? Or does he feel like racing with the motorbike print on his tee?
Typically, the more they like what they see the longer this quiet, almost shy moment lasts. I see kids get so engrossed in their reflected image they can't look away. Their imagination is in full swing, helping to develop their sense of self.
And these moments matter.
Kobomo PLAY is a retail space where kids have full permission to try out the clothes, books, shoes, accessories around them. We want kids to take the lead and parents to take a step back. Let them watch what their child reaches for, what piques their interest. Let them explore a little. Kids touching merchandise in our shop is really a condition of entry! Children reveal themselves in their choices. Maybe the parent will discover something new about their child too.
Because these moments matter.
The clothing we produce and source for Kobomo PLAY is essentially child-centric. We have freedom + imagination in mind. It's not restrictive in fit or even in occassion. We value clothing that helps the child engage with the world, both around them + within them. When we design or select styles we use our own imagination to explore how they might feel or view themselves when wearing it. What play, what adventures might it bring to life for them? What dream might come true?
Because even these small moments matter.