Phoebe Hayman: Play Like a Kid

January 4 - On The Dot
FIRST THOUGHT: Tapping into Your Inner Creative Kid

As I was strolling through the aisles at a craft store recently, as one does on a Friday night, I was super jealous of all the fun activity kits for kids. I remember when I got a Lisa Frank velvet art book and I felt like the next Van Gogh.

That’s the thing about being a kid: We are inherently creative, and we embrace it. Then we grow up and think it’s unrealistic to pursue art because we should be doing something more practical. Today, pick up a new hobby or work on one you’ve let collect dust. You might not make a dime from it, but that’s not the point. Just have fun!


If you have kids and have thoroughly exploited all your Disney Channel options, consider helping them get a little craftier. Parenting Magazine offers up 10 key ways to encourage kids’ imagination. My favorite ideas including having your child spend 15 minutes hunting around the house for three objects she hasn’t noticed before, and the clever Junk-drawer Game, in which kids root though your junk drawer (You know you have at least one!) to explore unusual objects and create a new game with them. Another idea is one that also works for kittens: an empty box. Kids can create a house, a time capsule—you name it—from one simple cardboard box.

WOMAN TO WATCH: Phoebe Hayman, Founder and CEO of Seedling USA Inc.

OK, so what if you want to give your niece a creative birthday gift but know that a cardboard box just ain’t going to cut it? Never fear; Seedling will come to your rescue! Founded and led by Phoebe Hayman, Seedling is on a mission to make creative kits that children and families not only love, but that also redefine how we shape and understand children’s creative time.

I learned about Seedling when I discovered its Design Your Own Bird Wings DIY costume kit for only 20 bucks. Even though I’m not a kid, I consider myself a kid at heart, and I’m still trying to figure out how I can pull off these wings for a night out on the town because they’re just so gorgeous. Each kit includes bird wings with a cool pattern that can be colored in using the included craft markers and glitter glue.

Seedling’s design-your-own kits are super neat and each child’s rendition will be different, unique to her own personal point of view. Seedling’s kits allow kids to design their own superhero mask, snow globe, dreamcatcher and even funky headphones.

Originally from New Zealand, Phoebe studied fine arts there, academic work that gave her a great understanding of the important role creativity plays in our lives. So, once she had kids, she sought out cool hands-on activities that would grow their imaginations. But at that time, Phoebe didn’t really find much in the way of hands-on creative kits on the market, so, she created her own, and Seedling quickly sprouted.

Phoebe now lives in Southern California with her family and continues to grow the business, remaining an active participant in the design and development processes. Her office is minimal, except for the colorful gallery wall featuring items from her travels and a canvas she painted of her children.

What resonates with so many is Seedling’s goal to make creative play an integral part of childhood. In a world of standardized tests and budget constraints, it can be easy to dismiss the arts. But as many successful leaders have confessed, being able to thoroughly explore their creative sides was instrumental to their success.


With Phoebe Hayman and Seedling in mind, today’s quote comes from Walt Disney, who said:

“Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our children.”

This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.

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