Great Glasses Play Day 2015 Recap (Plus—How to Make a Pretend-Play Eye Doctor Office!)

Great Glasses Play Day Photo Collage

Participants in Space Coast, FL and Oskaloosa, IA

Hello! Kristin here, writing from the Peeps office on a beautiful spring day. Whew! What an amazing Great Glasses Play Day we had this year! More than thirty parent-organized meet ups happened all over the US and the world earlier this month. GGPD Peeps Collage In case you’re not familiar, the Great Glasses Play Day is an annual event where we celebrate kids who wear glasses and patches. Here’s a post sharing how and why Ann Zawistoski and I co-founded it back in 2012. All of us at Peeps Eyewear were thrilled to once again co-host a meet up at the Madison Children’s Museum here in Madison, WI. Our event was made possible by support from Prevent Blindness Wisconsin, The Creative Company, the staff at Madison Children’s Museum, Molly’s Gluten-Free Cupcakes, and most of all, the families and little peeps who came to the museum to play! It was a fun-filled afternoon of games, arts and crafts and pretend play, plus learning about early vision health. The most important part was just for the attendees to have a chance to play with other kids in glasses and patches, and to see that there are lots of other kids just like them! As always, it was a beautiful sight to see. ggpd mad Collage The kids loved exploring the museum with their new friends, and they also had a blast pretending to be eye doctors or Prevent Blindness vision screeners, as you can see in the photos above. It’s easy to set up your own pretend-play eye doctor office—older kids may even be able to do all the set up themselves. This type of play is a great way to demystify the eye appointment experience and talk about what to expect for kids who are new to it. And kids who are old pros just like acting out a familiar scene at home, and sharing their eye expertise with friends.


How to Make a Pretend-Play Eye Doctor Office  Materials

  • old frames, fake frames, or homemade frames to display
  • white coat or some kind of jacket
  • clipboard and pen
  • laundry basket
  • mirror
  • cardboard or construction paper
  • markers or crayons


  1. Gather up your materials. If you don’t have any old frames, try making some out of pipe cleaners or cardboard. They can also be purchased at a local party store or at online stores like Oriental Trading Co.
  2. Make a sign out of cardboard or construction paper, advertising the name of the office.
  3. Use the same materials to make your own eye chart (or find a free printable online), stickers for your patients, etc..
  4. Display the frames in an upside-down laundry basket.
  5. Place the mirror somewhere at eye level so the patient can try out their frames.
  6. Let the kids take it from there! They can switch off being the doctor and the patient, and trying on all the frames until they find one that is just right.

These instructions are just a jumping-off point—there are so many ways to set up this pretend-play activity! Our friend and GGPD board member, Jessica Butler, has a great Pinterest board full of ideas if you want more inspiration. But really, encouraging kids to use their imaginations is always a winning idea! I hope you can join us at next year’s Great Glasses Play Day! Each year it gets bigger and better, and more little peeps get to meet new friends, creating amazing communities in their own neighborhoods. It’s a blast! Be sure to “like” us on Facebook so that you’ll stay updated

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Glasses: A Board Book Giveaway!

Glasses rainbow

Some glasses are red,

Some glasses are blue,

I think your glasses look great on you!

– excerpt from Glasses, a board book

We’re celebrating the recent release of Glasses (a board book written by Ann Zawistoski of Little Four Eyes and published by Peeps Eyewear) with a huge rainbow-themed giveaway!

 Why rainbows, you ask?

1.  The Glasses board book features kids wearing glasses in tons of different shapes and sizes and every color of the rainbow! Here at Peeps, we just love the idea that glasses can help a child express his or her personal style.

glasses board book

2.  Rainbows symbolize hope and acceptance. For many young children, glasses are a hard adjustment; they’re a new (and sometimes uncomfortable) thing to wear on your face and many times children don’t know anyone else their age who wears them.  “Glasses” shows kids that glasses can be a normal part of childhood, and how glasses can be fun.  We think that the moment a child understands that and feels better is like a rainbow after the storm.

princess annie with rainbow

3.  Rainbows are just plain fun! They’re bright and colorful, and it’s so exciting when you get to see one in the sky. Even Princess Annie loves rainbows!

Peeps Eyewear is partnering with Ann Zawistoski of Little Four Eyes and our friends at Eye Power Kids Wear to bring you this great big Glasses giveaway! The winner will receive:

1 copy of Glasses to keep



1 copy of Glasses to donate to your favorite library, preschool or optical shop

glasses a board book

A pair of frames from our Peeps Eyewear Online Store: choose from genuine Miraflex frames in any color of the rainbow OR our Princess Peeps frames

miraflex blue

princess peeps frames

A t-shirt of your choice from Eye Power Kids Wear

eye power kids wear tees

How to enter: Leave a message in the comment section with these two pieces of information: your favorite color, and the name of the library, preschool, optical shop or organization where you’d like us to donate the book.

Extra credit (just for fun): Share the giveaway on FB, Twitter or Pinterest and tag the library, preschool or optical shop so that they know you’re trying to win a copy for them! We can spread the word that glasses are great, and brighten everyone’s day with pictures of the smiling kids from the book.

glasses board book kids

Thanks for spreading the word about the wonderful board book, Glassesand a Rafflecopter giveaway sponsored by:

peeps eyewear rainbow



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Powerful Pink

It wasn’t until my first daughter was born that I realized how early color stereotypes can begin affecting children. I dressed my eldest daughter in Baby Gap, which back then sold mostly blue jeans, blue jumpers and blue dresses. It was remarkable to see how comments from strangers were affected by the color of clothing my daughter happened to be wearing. When she was dressed in blue, many of the comments were about how strong or smart “he” was. When she wore pink, they often talked about what a beautiful or sweet baby she was. My girls are all these things and more. It was astonishing to see how a simple color change can effect people’s perceptions of such a young child.

As my daughters grew older, they had a rainbow of colorful clothes.  It was my goal for them to find their own identity without the influence of a lot of media. In comparison to what my oldest daughter was exposed to a decade earlier, my youngest was inundated by the princess pink culture, even though our household was fairly “princess-free.”

When it was imperative for her to wear glasses to improve her vision, she decided one day that, “Princesses don’t wear glasses.” It was at that moment that I decided to create an adventurous, heroic and age-appropriate princess who just happens to wear glasses and my daughter’s favorite color (pink).

peeps stickers2

With a little help from my daughter, I wrote Princesses Wear Glasses. We didn’t include a heroic prince; in our book, the princess saves the day.  I wanted to make sure princess-loving kids who wear glasses all over the country would hear this story, so I created a social enterprise that not only helps redefine what it means to wear glasses, but also what it means to be a princess. The stories and products are not about the way a child looks from the outside— it’s what they have on the inside. It is about what they can see and what they can do.  It is about their ability to go on adventures, take risks and help someone in need.

peeps 346

A princess can be heroic! Just because she is wearing pink or likes ballet does not mean she cannot climb trees, look for dragons or save the day. It is my hope that we can change the view of pink as passive and into the thought that pink and any color in the rainbow can be POWERFUL–and so much more!



Pink makes you want to party with balloons and streamers.

It always gives you a case of the screamers.

It’s jumpy and it’s pumpy and it makes you want to play.

If you’re with pink it’s going to be a happy day!

Anne Ellsworth, Grade 3

Since 2010, Peeps Eyewear has been on a mission to empower children to love their glasses, increase awareness about the importance of early child vision health and donate frames to children in need.

princess peeps 5 small-2

Peeps Eyewear is designed so that a child can be the hero of their own story, wearing their glasses. Books and accessories can be customized with your child’s name, hair color and personal dedication.

Enter to win our Valentine’s Day Give Away. Two lucky winners can choose either:

1) A customized 5×7 Princesses Wear Glasses book and NEW customized Princess Peeps cuddly glasses case. Choose your hair color for your book and soft doll glasses case.  Your child’s name can be featured throughout the empowering story!DSCF2461



2) An awesome Eyepower Kids Wear t-shirt featuring our glasses wearing Power Peeps character, Super Steve, or Princess Peeps character, Princess Annie.

Screen Shot 2014-01-16 at 11.11.21 AM


To win, simply place a comment below with your thoughts about the color pink (or any color in the rainbow). Two winners will be randomly chosen.

About our NEW cuddly glasses case: “Lift the back flap of this very special glasses case to store your child’s glasses. A back pocket holds our book, “Princesses Wear Glasses.” The squeezable princess case is just the right size to sit in your child’s lap and read to. Hang the case on a bedpost or door handle using the gross grain carrying handle. The soft princess can even wear your child’s glasses at night. Just slip temples through the  durable button holes and specially designed temple sleeves to keep them in place. Brown, Black, Blonde or Red hair color options. (Boy line coming soon!)

Be a part of our Facebook community or learn more about our products and the work we do at Peeps Eyewear.

Kristin Ellsworth is the founder of the social enterprise Peeps Eyewear and is an Executive Board Member of Prevent Blindness Wisconsin. She is also the co-founder of the Great Glasses Play Day.

Photos by Eye Power Kids Wear and Peeps Eyewear.

Posted in Early Childhood Vision Health, Peeps Eyewear, Pink Is Powerful | 61 Comments

To the Rescue! New, Powerful Princess Peeps T-Shirt & Glasses Giveaway!

Exciting news!  I’m so proud to announce the debut of our Princess Peeps t-shirt, created with the help of Eye Power Kids Wear.


Here’s our t-shirt image! This is the adventurous princess from our book, Princesses Wear Glasses, which is the story of a brave girl who saves the day wearing her glasses.

Brown haired cover photo

You can also order the shirt in purple, and you can choose blonde or brown hair.   Here at Peeps we love offering customizable products for your child!  You can order the book, Princesses Wear Glasses in whatever hair color you want, and can even include your child’s name.

Eye Power Kids Wear shares our mission of helping kids love wearing corrective eyewear.  They make fabulous t-shirts with soft cotton fabric and crisp colors, and like Peeps Eyewear, their products have positive messages for young kids who wear glasses.  My daughter loves her t-shirt, and of course she loves her Peeps Eyewear glasses and book!

You can win all three, plus a Peeps Eyewear dress-up cape and crown, if you enter the giveaway!  Head over to Eye Power Kids Wear’s blog today; there are many ways to enter.

Picture 029

We believe princesses can be powerful, not just damsels in distress.  That’s why our princess is “To the rescue!”  Your child can imagine she’s off saving the day through adventurous play, just like the character in our book.  She will love playing in the well-made cape and crown, reading the book and wearing her glasses everyday.  Our optical-quality, durable frames can be worn as non-prescription sunglasses too.

Please be sure to tell all of your bespectacled young friends about Peeps Eyewear.  We’re a social enterprise on a mission to empower kids to love their glasses and increase awareness about the importance of early childhood vision health.

girl w glasses

Thanks, Eye Power Kids Wear, for creating such fabulous t-shirts for kids!

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Peeps Eyewear & the Great Glasses Play Day

ImageHi there!  I’m Kristin Ellsworth, founder of Peeps Eyewear, a social enterprise encouraging children to love wearing glasses through empowering story characters and creative play accessories.  I felt compelled to blog for the first time here, to talk about something very dear to my heart.  It’s time for the second-annual Great Glasses Play Day!  I co-founded this event last year with Ann Zawistoski, but it was actually a dream we each had for many years before that.  You see when we met online, we discovered we had a lot in common.  Both of our daughters were diagnosed with vision issues at a very young age, and they each were the only kids in their preschool classrooms to wear glasses (1 in 20 young kids should wear glasses, but only 1 in 100 do).

Ann and I were both inspired to start professional ventures by our experience of having a young daughter in glasses.  She started Little Four Eyes, an amazing online support community for parents of kids in glasses, and I started the social enterprise Peeps Eyewear after my daughter refused to wear her glasses because “princesses don’t wear glasses” (my daughter eventually grew out of the princess phase, but I realized there were many other young children out there who felt the same).   I stayed busy writing my first book about an adventurous superhero princess in glasses who saves the day, designing a line of glasses for girls (and soon boys!), and raising awareness of early childhood vision issues with Prevent Blindness Wisconsin, but there was still a dream I hoped with Ann’s help could be accomplished.  We wanted to host an event where kids in glasses could be surrounded by other kids just like them, in playgrounds and parks, even online, having fun and proudly wearing their glasses.

This week, in sixteen cities across the US (and one in South Africa!) we will see that dream come true in an big way!  Kids and families will spend a few hours in parks or online, where they will meet each other, play, create and leave feeling great about wearing glasses, patches or contacts while showing the world that our youngest children’s vision health is important.

Superhero princess

I’m incredibly excited to participate in our local Madison-area event here in Wisconsin, and I hope that if you have a young child in your life who wears glasses, you will invite him or her to a Great Glasses Play Day in your area, or celebrate online.  You can find all the meet-ups on the GGPD website, along with ideas on how to join in the fun online.

Vision is nothing to play with because it is such an important issue that only doctors can address, but it is important that once a child’s impairment is identified, wearing glasses is celebrated.   That’s where the Great Glasses Play Day comes in, celebrating kids who wear glasses and their unique style.  I hope you can join us!

A special thanks to Jessica Butler of Eye Power Kids Wear for my daughter’s awesome Great Glasses T-Shirt.

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