The Snugglebug Project

Over the next couple of months I plan to launch a new project, which I've named the Snugglebug Project.

Before I tell you about my project though, let me tell you a little about the motivation behind it all. 


It all started with the princesses.  Now please don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to bash Disney here at all.  There are no bad guys in this post.  I love Disneyland and even plan on taking my kids there later this year.  Lu adores the princesses, and I have to say that Disney has done a pretty decent job in recent years creating multi-dimensional princesses which aren't just sitting around waiting for a prince to sweep them off their feet. 

So what do I have against the princesses?  Well, besides the term princess (which itself makes me cringe just a little bit every time my daughter refers to herself as one) and the fact that my 3 year old wants to be a 16 year old princess, it's the fact that the princesses just seem to be all consuming.  We can't get away from them in the stores.  Clothes.  Food. Toys. Panties.  Even diapers. 

I remember Lu having a downright tantrum in the diaper aisle because I refused to buy the princess variety.  When we made the jump to panties and I let her pick out her first panties she excitedly brought the princess panties home.  This actually turned out to be quiet a blessing though.  There was just something mortifying to her about peeing on a princess.  Potty training was a breeze.  I had to suppress a chuckle at her first accident when she cried "Oh no, Mommy!  I pee'd on Cinderella!"  The poor thing was totally distraught at the thought of soiling her favorite princess.  But I digress.

I know, I know.  It's a just a phase, right?  That's what everyone says.  But when I took my daughters to the zoo and my eldest refused to visit the bug exhibit because I quote, "Princesses don't like bugs."  I put my foot down.  Bugs are cool, darn it.  Especially ants (I am a biologist after all).  And no, I don't expect my kids to like them just because I like them.  But I would like my kids to look at them and form their own opinions.

I'm tired of my kids only reliving the adventures of the princesses.  I'm tired of brands--whether it be princesses, Dora, or whatever else dictating my kids creative play.

And that's where the project comes in.  I'm not trying to make my kids give up Disney. I'm just trying to give them a bit more variety to their life. And I'd like them to create it.

The Snugglebug Project

I call my children Snugglebugs, which is where the name comes from.  But for the purpose of this project, Snugglebugs are kids.

And as for the project?  Well, we're going to be creating our own stories.  We'll be writing about the adventures our snugglebugs go on.  We'll illustrate the stories and even act them out.

But like any good project there are some important rules:

Snugglebug Rules:

1.  Snugglebugs can do anything.
2.  Snugglebugs can be anything.
3. Snugglebugs like to travel, learn, explore, play and even dress up (even as princesses or superheros.)

So what do you think friends?  Do you think we can manage to make anything anywhere near as enticing as almighty Disney?  I hope so.  And if we don't that is ok too.  We'll have a lot of fun trying.  Because in truth, that's what it's all about right?  Having fun?

I truly believe that one of the best gifts we can give our children is an active imagination.  Let's help them have the courage to be different.  To think differently.  To explore and craft and create.  Let's embrace childhood and natural curiosity.  Let's help our children create their own world in a world where everything is created for them.

I'll be documenting the Snugglebug Project here on the blog alongside my other projects, and I'd love it if you joined us.    We'll create our own stories, and if you'd like, you can create your own alongside us.  Our stories might look nothing like yours, and that's totally ok. 

In fact, that's the whole point of the project after all!


  1. I realize this post is from 2013, but I shared it again on Facebook. FYI...here is my comment. "I love this idea! I found it a while ago, and might have already shared this, but I love the logic this biologist uses. It shares my belief that not all princesses wear a crown, carry a magic wand, or wear fancy dresses with perfect hair styles. Princesses do not have to dance or sing or have a kingdom. Sometimes, the best Princesses are the ones who do not know they are one. It is all about what is in your heart. Thus, the "Snugglebugs". She read my mind!" Blessings to You and Yours, A big thank-you from Port Huron, Michigan, USA.

  2. I think that's a genius idea. Amazing!! And wonderful!! Have you thought of writing a book about real-life girls who are not princesses but even better because they're just being their own creative, curious selves? You propose a real manifesto which is very inspiring and as a mother of 5 small children I intend to take to heart. Your project reminds me of other grassroots, homemade, creative toy projects which are child-centered rather than product centered, such as Tree Change Dolls, which frankly, are more beautiful without their makeup. It would be great to put together a list or community of such small businesses, and maybe there's already some similar movements out there? I'll definitely save your website



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