I describe myself as an “early childhood enthusiast and playtime expert.” What does that mean? I support all things that promote growth, learning, and healthy habits for children from the start. I am completely invested in families and innovative ways of creating healthy and happy environments for children as they come into their own.
I have had quite the journey as an enthusiast. I’ve worked at museums, daycares, schools, and as a nanny for several years. All of this time and experience has taught me monumental lessons about early childhood and happy parenting.
Children and adults alike learn best through play, discovery and experience. And though the times of our society seem to have shifted in priorities, I want to help restore the power of play. Even if I find myself bumped up against the most stressful of situations, a quick go at the swings or a hula hoop break usually gets me back on track. Laughter when playing is a great stress reducer for grownups and an absolute MUST for children.
BREAK OUT THE BUBBLES.
Though play is for the most part a personal experience, grownup participation is appreciated and beneficial to everyone involved. As a grownup, I think the best you can do is learn about all the various parenting techniques, and then pick what works best for you and your family.
What you say is important, but ultimately your children are paying attention to what you do.
The best play is usually unplanned and outdoors in nature. Bring a magnifying glass. Growing up or being around animals teaches us about love and community. Hugs are always appreciated. The best art projects are usually when the focus is on the process as opposed to the product. Messy art projects are even better. I think it’s safe to assume that everything we (grownups and children alike) get involved in is an ongoing project. We never truly get it done and you really do learn something new every day. In knowing that, it makes it easier to relax at playtime.
The cardboard box is still the most essential toy your child can have in fostering their imagination. I use my cardboard boxes as bookcases. You can make some pretty awesome artwork and games with recycled goods, on top of preserving the environment. Bring an improv craft bag. Sing when you want, laugh as much as you can and move. Get moving.
Email: ashley @ myplaywithashley.com