GET TO KNOW
I live in West Toronto with my fabulous husband and our two amazing girls. There’s always a kid-made creative mess happening somewhere in our house. Tall Duplo structures and a hundred tiny toys in the living room, popsicle sticks taped to paper artwork in the kitchen, a collection of rocks and other found objects on a bedroom windowsill…
When we aren’t hanging out at home or visiting friends and family, we love to get outside. We’re most often playing at the neighbourhood park or walking along the Humber River. You can also find us two hours north every couple of months, enjoying weekends in the open space at my family’s property in Penetanguishene.
I’m passionate about children’s unstructured play and families spending quality time together, and I want to share that passion with you!
I got my teaching degree in 2005 from The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto and have been a teacher with the Toronto District School Board since then.
I had the pleasure of teaching Kindergarten for seven years and Grade 3 for three years. I read a lot of books and sang a lot of songs in that time! My goal to inspire a love for reading in my students lead to taking additional qualification courses to become a Reading Specialist early on in my teaching career.
I loved getting to know each unique little person and I learned first-hand that everyone has their own strengths and talents and developmental timeline, and you cannot compare one child’s abilities to another’s.
My teaching experiences have been invaluable to me as a parent. One of the greatest gifts was experiencing in real-time how quickly my first Kindergarten class grew to become Grade 8 students (it happened so fast!).
My first daughter was born in 2011 and my second daughter was born in 2014.
I want my kids’ childhoods to be full of imagination, creativity, learning and family fun. With these goals in mind, I’ve applied my knowledge and experience of play-based learning in Kindergarten classes to our home. The result has been my kids spending more time engaging in unstructured play, creative arts, writing, reading and conversation with family.
I started this business to share my experience and expertise to help families support their own child’s learning and creativity. I work with parents to set up play spaces in their homes and I offer workshops on related topics.
Parents' lives can be so busy, so I want to make it easy for you to give your child opportunities for playing, learning and creating while also enjoying quality time together.
I’d love to hear from you! Get in touch and let's chat.
M Y A P P R O A C H
The Kindergarten Program
The Kindergarten Program is founded on the principles of play-based learning:
Play is recognized as a child’s right, and it is essential to the child’s optimal development.
All children are viewed as competent, curious, capable of complex thinking, and rich in potential and experience.
A natural curiosity and a desire to explore, play, and inquire are the primary drivers of learning among young children.
The learning environment plays a key role in what and how a child learns.
In play-based learning programs, assessment supports the child’s learning and autonomy as a learner.
- The Kindergarten Program, 2016, Ontario
With respect to the learning environment, it is often referred to as a “third teacher”. This means the materials are arranged in a way that engages student interest and inspires play that will include learning in all subject areas. For that reason, the room is set up with learning centres, (e.g., Writing centre, Reading, Math, Science, Drama, Art, and Building).
Play is the work of children. It consists of those activities performed for self-amusement that have behavioural, social and psychomotor rewards. It is child-directed, and the rewards come from within the individual child; it is enjoyable and spontaneous.
– Encyclopedia of Children’s Health
It is during play that children use their imagination and creativity. They discover what their interests are – helping them find hobbies or even a future career that will contribute to their happiness in life.
When playing with other children, they learn to communicate, empathize, manage their emotions, and come up with solutions to their problems.
In today’s overscheduled society, there is less opportunity than ever for kids to be kids – time for them to play, explore, and learn the way they are meant to learn. Playtime is a chance for kids to relax and have quiet in their lives. It is a time they can feel in charge and in control.
As parents, we can make sure our child has time for free play. I can help you create a stimulating play environment in your home!
You can read more about the importance of play-based learning here and here.
“As the world spins faster, organizations everywhere need people who can think creatively, communicate and work in teams: people who are flexible and quick to adapt.”
- Sir Ken Robinson, Out of Our Minds
Creativity: the ability to produce original and unusual ideas, or to make something new or imaginative. – Cambridge Dictionary
Creativity is considered one of the most valuable skills today’s students need for future success. Like all skills, it can be improved with practice. As mentioned above, play uses and develops creativity.
While there are often opportunities for students to use their creativity at school, it can be limited by the instructions for the project or materials available and time assigned for completing the activity.
The best place to foster your child’s creativity is at home. At home, they have full control of the plans for an activity or project and can use their own ideas with the free choice of materials and less interruption. It is possible to put aside projects “in progress” and return to it later.
Children rarely create something the same as before – they will use the same materials another way or add something new or use other experiences as inspiration to extend an idea. This is how their creativity develops and grows.
I can help you create a playroom that fosters your child’s creativity!
Giving our children our full attention, talking and listening to them, empathizing and playing together helps to build our connection with them.
A strong feeling of connection makes it more likely our children turn to us for guidance, advice and support throughout their lifetime. Family connection comes with the rewarding parts of parenting.
I can help you create a playroom that encourages your family to spend quality time together!
Giving your child the gift of your presence can help the world to feel a little less frantic and out of control for both you and your child. When you slow down, your child slows down, and you both feel calmer....(it) gives your child an important message about the nature of relationships: relationships require time and attention, and there are people who love you enough to be willing to take that time.
- Anne Douglas, Happy Parents Happy Kids