There was a time not so long ago in our country’s history when people dressed up to go to the movies. Or to the drug store. Or to the post-office for that matter. No one ever considered walking into a church without a proper hat and lacy gloves. Air and train travel were major causes for formal wear. Apparently, while traveling at 35,000 feet, it was imperative that you were pressed and dressed to the nines. The last time I flew, I was wearing sweat pants and a mismatched pair of flip flops. Hardly the old Hollywood look that was de rigueur for mid-century air travel.
When I look at my own preschool pictures from the ’70s, I often wonder if my mom owned stock in Polly Flinders and whomever mass-produced patent leather Mary-Janes. And although I looked as cute as a button, how could I have climbed a tree dressed like that? What if I got sticky paste or purple paint on my lovely smocked dress with the stark white Peter Pan collar? Luckily, the fashion world has changed. Formal wear is now reserved for events that are actually formal. Travel clothes have to be first and foremost comfortable. And happily, preschoolers need to come to school dressed in play clothes.
Here at Growing Room, we strongly urge parents to send their children to us in clothes that can get messy. We encourage creative exploration and although we use smocks, there is always, always, a way to get glitter glue and paint on clothing. When a baking soda volcano excitingly explodes, a pre-k student simply cannot resist the urge to play with the lava. And really, they shouldn’t be expected to. Fresh lava is great fun to play with. And when you turn over a rock on the playground to see all of the insect activity in that little ecosystem, dirt happens. When your child comes home from school with splatters of paint, mushed peas, and streaks of markers everywhere, you should smile.
All of this means your child had a great day full of exploration, creativity, and nourishment.