Unless you have been living in Siberia for the last week, I’m sure you know all about the royal birth. With all of this royal fever in the air, coupled with the fact that with my three year old has a new found obsession with princesses, I’m left feeling like I want to drop kick Cinderella across the Edwards Aquifer. I want to give my daughter real female role models to look up to other than Rapunzel, Ariel, and Cindy (-rella that is). I’d prefer that she be inspired by women who have lived, breathed and fought hard for their place in history, not just vied for the attention of Prince Charming while dressed up in a sparkly dress. Here are a few inspiring women and activities around San Antonio that bring real female role models to life for your little girl:
For the girl who climbs to the top of the playscape with no fear: Amelia Earhart
As the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, Amelia Earhart was, no doubt, a daredevil at heart. Growing up, she kept a scrapbook with articles about successful women in male dominated industries. To inspire your budding pilot, take her to the Texas Air Museum at the Stinson Municipal Airport where she can see female pilot Katherine Stinson’s Bleriot. Katherine, a role model in and of herself, was the 4th woman in the US to obtain a pilot’s certificate!
Read About It: Who Was Amelia Earhart? by Kate Boehm Jerome, Nancy Harrison and David Cain
While Audrey Hepburn was lauded for her acting career, it’s her active role in philanthropy throughout her life that make her an amazing role model. Audrey was the official spokesperson for UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund and made over 50 trips to countries around the world to visit children in need and came back to advocate on their behalf. Encourage your budding philanthropist by showing them volunteer work in their own community. The San Antonio Food Bank has volunteer opportunities for children starting at the age of 8. Instead of a Lemonade Stand, have your kids set up a Donation Stand and collect needed items for organizations like The Ronald McDonald House or for pet lovers, San Antonio Pets Alive! Find out if your favorite local non-profit hosts a race or run and volutneer to work the water stand – such a fun activity for kids.
Read About It: Just Being Audrey by Margaret Cardillo
For the dino-digging girl: Mary Anning
Paleontolgist, Mary Anning, lived on the English coast in the early 1800’s. When she was just twelve years old, she discoverd the first ichthyosaur skeleton, the first of it’s kind to be correctly identified. Mary also discovered a pterosaur, the first two plesiosaur skeletons, and a number of important fish fossils. She faced discrimination due to her age and social status, but her finds landed her an important spot in history. Cheer on your little paleontologist when you visit the Dinosaurs Unearthed exhibit at The Witte or visit Dinosaur-Quest inside Rivercenter Mall.
Read About It: Stone Girl, Bone Girl: The Story of Mary Anning by Laurence Anholt
For the strong-willed girl: Sandra Day O’Donnor
This native Texan was the first female member of the Supreme Court. Dress your daughter up in a black robe, get her a gavel and play “Court”. I’m sure she loves bossing her little brother or sister around as it is! Take a daytrip to Austin to check out the Supreme Court of Texas. Texas Supreme Court Justices give tours and you can even put in a special request for one of our female Texas members, Justice Eva Guzman or Justice Debra Lehrmann. Tours can be planned by contacting [email protected] with a requested time and date, as well as a specific “tour guide”.
Read About It: U.S. Supreme Court Coloring and Activity Book by Jenny B. Davis
For the girl who loves to dress up: Coco Chanel
Does your daughter have an opinion about what she will wear? Does she breakout the accessories and drape herself in pearls? Look no futher than Coco Chanel. Coco not only founded the Chanel fashion line but was credited with breaking women free from the corset – THANK YOU COCO! Have her friends over and play Fashion Runway. Bust out the fabrics, scarves, accessories and hats and see who can come up with the most creative outfit. You can also enroll her in a kids sewing class at Creative Sewing Center.
Read About It: Different Like Coco by Elizabeth Matthews
For the animal lover: Jane Goodall
Best known for her work living amongst the wild chimpanzees in today’s Tanzania, Jane Goodall is a champion for animals and improving the environment that we share with them. Help your littlest anthropologist discover a world of monkeys at the San Antonio Zoo. Make sure to check out the schedule for Animal Encounters and Education Encounters before you go. These encounters give your little lady a chance to meet with the zookeepers and learn a little more about what goes on behind the scenes at the zoo!
Read About It: Me…Jane by Patrick McDonnell
For the girl who loves wonder and magic: Marie Curie
Marie Curie, the first woman to win the Nobel Prize, was the only woman to win in two fields and the only person to win in multiple sciences. She is best known for her research on radioactivity. Enroll your little scientist in Enrichment Classes at the Science Research and Educational Institute of Texas. Classes start as young as 3 years old and cover everything from animal studies and exploring taste to robotics and brain dissection. You can also explore the H-E-B Science Treehouse at the Witte Museum for more inspiration.
Read About It: Marie Curie: Scientist Who Made Glowing Discoveries by Mike Venezia
And for those girls that you just can’t tear away from the princesses: Queen Elizabeth I
Longtime ruler of England, Queen Elizabeth I was the ultimate woman in power. She is known for re-establishing the Church of England and ending the war with France. Celebrate this inspirational woman and her love of theater by attending a show at Majik Theater. Afterwards, have afternoon tea at Madhatter’s Tea House & Cafe (crowns optional).
Read About It: Who Was Queen Elizabeth? by June Eding and Nancy Harrison