Let’s welcome our first guest post - Jacinth from ourlittleplaynest!
When T turned 1 year old towards the end of 2016, I started plowing around Instagram looking for inspiration for activities which I want to carry out with T. And ourlittleplaynest was one of the first few Instagrams I stumbled upon. I love what Jacinth does with her kids, and her activities are extremely inspiring. I was like a stalker then (still am now haha), going through her entire Instagram posts and constantly being amazed by all the creative and innovative ideas she had.
So today, I am so happy to be sharing her guest post with all of you, and hope that you find the same inspiration in her as I did!
Hi everyone, I am Jacinth, a school teacher turned stay-at-home-mom to my two kids. I majored in Physics (Super geeky I know!) and am passionate about kids education and brain development. Hence, during my free time, I’m either reading up on how brains work, or stimulating my kids’. (Ok, and a little bit of Netflix).
What do you enjoy most about life?
Before kids, or after having kids? 😂 Well, I enjoy traveling, photography and shopping! Before the kids, I love my teaching job a lot. I actually enjoyed working because I got to challenge myself to improve my pedagogical skills so that I can help students according to their learning needs.
After kids, I placed my career on hold and am dedicating this stage of my life to caring for my family. So what do I enjoy most now? Being able to spend lots of quality time with the family, especially when the kids are only young this once.
Describe your motherhood journey. How has it been like!
With Daryl, my firstborn, motherhood was really tough, especially the first year. There were struggles with breastfeeding, changes to my body, understanding and attending to an infant’s needs, balancing career and motherhood, feeling emotional about how my life has changed drastically, the lack of me-time and couple time etc...
Along the way, with support from my Husband, family and friends, I figured being positive and grateful will make me a happier person. And so I did!
I embraced motherhood and when Charlotte came along, I learnt to focus on things and people that truly matter, and not put too much pressure on myself to be a “perfect” mom.
As a result, I thoroughly enjoyed every moment bringing up my second child.
How did you start on the journey of Learning through Play with your children？
Even though I am not teaching in a classroom anymore, I am still very passionate about education. So before delivering my first child, I was already reading up on how babies grow, ways to stimulate them, physical exercises that will benefit their brain development etc.
That’s when I read about the importance of play for young children, so my children basically grew up learning through lots of play!
Tell us about any struggles or obstacles you have met in your Learning through Play journey.
Time constraint is one struggle I have, especially now when Charlotte is at home with me all the time.
I’d rather spend my time playing with her than planning for activities in front of my laptop. This constraint has led me to think of more low prep activities, and be more creative in my ideas and execution.
I also include my children in my preparations to save time, and surprisingly they are very eager to help!
What or who has inspired you to start ourlittleplaynest?
Daryl, my firstborn.
He was so eager to learn that I kept thinking of more meaningful activities to engage him. I told my Husband “I should record these down, so he (my son) will thank me when he grows up!”
Any advice for parents or parents-to-be who are thinking of implementing similar kinds of activities for their children?
1. You know your child best, start with activities that excite them (eg. Using their favourite cartoon characters, or storybooks etc).
2. For ideas, do a search on Google, Pinterest or Instagram, and list down the do-able activities. For a start, begin with activities that do not require much preparation.
3. Include home learning as part of the daily routine. You can set aside a fixed time every day so that your kids know what to expect.
4. Go with the flow, and let your children take the lead. Enjoy the playing and learning with them!
Do follow ourlittleplaynest on Facebook and Instagram. And we do hope this provides inspiration for you to start on your own Learning through Play journey with your child(ren)!