Today's interview is with Amanda who happens to be a play therapist by profession. We've asked her few questions regarding her own experience as a mother and co-relation with teaching (among other things).
Quiet unusual name for a blog - Dirt and Boogers. I'm sure there is an interesting story behind it. Care to share? :)
Yea, I've gotten a few comments about the blog name (some good some bad). Before I started blogging, I took a picture of J with a snotty nose and dirt on his face. I sent it out to family and titled it "Boys are Filled with Dirt and Boogers". When I decided to start the blog a few months later, I wanted a name that was original and memorable. This pic kept jumping in my head, and I decided that Dirt and Boogers was very memorable, plus it made me laugh. I asked a few friends about the title and I got smiles and "YES! You have to!"...so there ya go....Dirt and Boogers!
What PLAY means to you?
Oh man, play is the most important part of childhood! It is the most natural thing a child does, it's their most important work! It's how they figure out and understand the world around them. Kids learn basic skills and concepts through play. They also use play as a medium to work out troubling things that are going on in their lives. Being a children's therapist, I've seen children play through some really difficult stuff in their lives. Play is how children process tough situations and difficult emotions. It's really cool to see a child learn to cope through play. Play is even important in adulthood too! Being creative and playful is an emotion regulator and mood booster. People learn concepts so much better when they use their whole bodies! So being creative and using your body is a great way to learn new skills and make them stick! Truly, my favorite word is PLAY...it's not just for kids!
Do you think that being an educator helps you in raising your own child? Did it prepare you for parenting?
It absolutely did! Already having a background in child development and knowing the basics of taking care of a child really helped as a new parent. I had already changed thousands of diapers, taught parenting techniques, and already had a working knowledge discipline techniques and how to handle tantrums. However, taking care of other people's children is nothing like raising your own. There are way more emotions involved which makes it harder to think clearly sometimes! Plus, I can't hand off my son to someone else to care for after a difficult day.
Day to day organization of activities and space - how you do it at your home?
We used to do activities the same time every day (between lunch and nap time). Things are a bit more flexible these days so I just do one when inspiration hits! A lot of our activities are done on the kitchen table because I just find it easier to set thing up there. We do have a small playroom for J that I'll set up activities that need to be done on the floor. I also really like to do activities outside on the deck. There is just something about creating and playing in the sunshine that is so nice!
5 must have toys for toddlers (either store bought, handmade or found objects) you would recommend?
I love having basic, open-ended toys that grow with a child. A good set of wooden blocks, a baby doll or stuffed animal, a play kitchen and food, and playdough are toys I wouldn't trade for anything. For the 5th, I'm saying water. Seriously, we play in water so much around here, it's crazy! We dye it, make ice, fill and dump containers, and swim in it too! Seriously, it's J's favorite thing!
Few more things we recommend to look up on Dirt and Boogers blog:
Thank you Amanda for an awesome interview!