Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Barbie Project ~ Kennedy Builds An Elevator!

It's been a few weeks since my daughter and I started the Barbie Project with seven other amazing moms and daughters.  As I mentioned in my last post this has been a great opportunity for me to step outside of my typical mommy mode and get down on the floor and 'play' with my daughter.  I found myself getting busy with my normal routine again within a few days after the project started. My daughter in her room and me running around doing a million things.  The other week I was busy putting up laundry and walked by my daughter's room. Kennedy who is 10 was busy at work, taping, measuring and cutting away.  I asked her what she was doing and she told me that she was making an elevator for her Barbie's house.  She had yarn, glue, duct tape, scissors and one small cardboard box.  She was determined and on a mission!  I dropped my laundry basket and sat down and watched her work. 

She was busy measuring and talking about how they had learned about pulley systems and simple machines in school.  It was the cutest thing seeing her mind work trying to construct this elevator. 

She started out taping the string along one corner.  The yarn kept slipping and Barbie was swinging all over the place. Kennedy didn't skip a beat, she would pick Barbie up and try different strategies  I made a few tiny suggestions but let her continue to explore what worked and didn't work.  She tried over a dozen times and just kept at it.  I was so amazed to see her determination and drive, she did NOT want to give up!

We chatted some more and I told her she was a pretty cool elevator engineer/architect.  I was truly in awe at how she was using what she learned at school during her playtime. I am a BIG advocate for girls embracing STEM, science, engineering, technology and math, so this was a project after my own heart!   After several tries and Barbie getting many bumps and bruises she finally got it to work. A little wobbly but it finally worked! The joy and pride on her face lit up the whole room!  I told her that we also needed to explore how real elevators work and to imagine all that goes into designing elevators that carry real people.

I was able to capture her special moment on my phone. Please excuse my amateur video, had to capture the moment quickly!

To view Kennedy's 1st Elevator Test Run click here! 

On a side note my oldest daughter is turning 16 in a few days and I am experiencing a lot of different emotions as I learn to balance realizing that she is growing up and wants more independence.  She is learning to drive, wants to hangout with friends, and doesn't need mommy as much these days.  I realized today in writing this blog that Kennedy's years playing with toys like Barbie will soon fade away.  I am truly grateful that this project came to really help me cherish these times with my daughters as they will be on their own one day soon. Whether it's building elevators for Barbie or panicking in the passenger seat as my daughter takes the wheel I will definitely slow down from my normal fast pace mommy mode and be in the moment more.

What things have you discovered during your playtime with your daughter? To learn more about the Barbie Project and to share your experiences visit To follow our journey follow our blog or visit us on Facebook or Twitter. Thanks for taking the time to read about our journey! #barbieproject

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Barbie Project

So excited to announce that I was invited to be a part of a new initiative called " The Barbie Project" which is launching this month! Growing up I have many memories of playing with my Barbies, picking out the perfect outfits for my dolls, styling my Barbies and taking them on amazing imaginary adventures! As a mom of two daughters ages 10 and 15 (19 days until she is not ready) Barbie has been a big part of my family.  In December my youngest daughter, Kennedy, turned 10. As you all know empowerment of women (especially moms) and girls are what fuels my passion and my non-profit. I love a good party and any chance to empower our next generation of women and girls!  Ms. Kennedy came up with a theme for her party based on the "I Can Be" Barbie line of dolls.

I so love this line of dolls that focuses on careers like doctors, computer engineers, presidents, veterinarians, teachers, artist, and designers.  She thought it would be cool for her friends to come dressed up as who they want to be when they grow up. My daughters are my 'why' and have fueled  my journey to empower girls and women over the last 7 years.  Hearing her ideas for her party made my heart melt, hopefully I am doing something right!  I took her idea and ran with it and it turned out amazing!

My daughter wants to be a scientist/actress when she grows up! Check out Ms. Kennedy in her lab coat ready for her party!

We had future authors, camp counselors, singers, artist, mechanical engineers and several doctors in attendance. Guest were invited to share more details about their dreams and career aspirations during the party.

Since Kennedy loves science we had a special guest come and do a robotics demonstration and all the girls and boys got to team up with a partner and build their own robots.  At the end of the party the robots faced off during a sumo challenge. Proud to say that in the final round the robot built by one of the girl's teams beat the boy's robot!!

I am ALWAYS looking for any way to help raise strong and confident girls.  I am truly honored to be a part of this new project that will help moms and daughters explore how to use playtime and imagination in new empowerment ways.  It's only been a few weeks since we have engaged in the project but it has already opened up many new avenues.  I am usually always busy doing mommy things when Kennedy is in her own world playing with her toys.  Since the project launch I have found myself more curious about what goes on in her world. I have actually been amazed to see the creative ways she plays with her Barbies.  She recently got the President Barbie doll and held a campaign with her Barbies!

I really loved the message on the back of the box which we put up in her room.  I reminded Kennedy that until recently we had never had an African American president and now we have one!   We also discussed that their have been no female presidents and this Barbie shows that anything is possible! 
I was also really surprised and happy to see this new song that Barbie released recently which focuses on girl empowerment and the fact that anything is possible for our daughters! I am really honored and excited to see what comes out of this amazing project and hope that my journey over the next six months with my daughters will be filled with fun, creativity, imagination, self discovery, and empowerment!

Check out Barbie's new girl power song, "Anything Is Possible" performed by Fifth Harmony Kennedy LOVES them!!!!! Be sure and share it with your daughters!

Click here to learn more about The Barbie Project! Be sure to follow our journey with this new project on our Empower Her, Inc. blog, social media channels:  Facebook, Twitter #BarbieProject, and Pinterest! To support or learn more about our non-profit organization and mission to empower women and girls visit our website!