I want to inspire you to turn off the TV, put down your cell phone, skip all the flashing and buzzing toys, and get on the floor and just play with your children.

2016-08-02NelsonKellyjpg-28

I’ve worked with young children most of my life. In high-school and college I worked in daycares and preschools.

 I earned an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education and the next fall began my teaching career. My first job was as a Head-start teacher and, over the next few years, I taught preschool through third grade. I enjoyed those jobs and I loved the kids, but I hadn’t discovered my passion.

Fifteen years ago I discovered that passion. I’d had my first child and was taking time off from full-time teaching. But, my husband was in law school, so I was looking for a part-time job when I met a wonderful Speech Therapist who was starting a play group for children in our state’s early intervention program. She hired me and I was introduced to the world of Early Childhood Intervention; I fell in love with it immediately. Through play based activities we worked on cognitive, speech, and motor skills. Everyday, we  played with a purpose!

I discovered my passion: helping children learn through play.

That experience led me to begin a post-graduate program of study in Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education and become a Developmental Interventionist. Now, I spend my days traveling across my city, serving children with developmental delays (birth to three years old). The delays are varied, and each set of interventional activities are targeted and unique to the child. But, each session has the same foundation, we play.

I want to show you how to use the strategies I use in your home, with your child or children. I don’t use any special tools or expensive “educational” or “therapy” toys.  I use toys already present in the family’s home, toys that are available through most local or online retailers. Since I spend my days in different homes and child care centers, I get to see toddler toys in action. I can tell you which toys are tried and true champions with toddlers, which ones actually foster development, and which are not worth your money.

Toys are essential for play and there are tons of toys on the market. So many that it’s  hard to wade through them all and choose what’s best for your child. It’s overwhelming, especially when you don’t know what skills a child under three should have or be working on.

I want to help you with this. I want to help you understand how your child learns and develops and what your child should and shouldn’t know by age three.  This knowledge will help guide your interactions with your child, especially your play and toy purchases.

“We Play, I Learn” will not only give you toy and activity ideas, but will also let you know what is age appropriate for the under three crowd and how you can use those age appropriate toys to engage your child.