HOW DID YOU START MAKING YOUR OWN TOYS FOR CHILDREN AT THE NURSERY?
I started making resources because I could see a use for empty packages rather than throwing them away. I made holes in the lids of empty coffee containers and allowed children to use dolly pegs to explore simple posting. You can also use empty baby formula milk tins with slits in the lids, or the plastic lids from milk cartons. This was all designed to support fine motor skills and develop hand-eye co-ordination. I also designed a set of multicoloured mats which children could colour match different resources with, such as bobbins, blocks and buttons. I just get my ideas from things I may have seen, and then I adapt them. They are what I call my lightbulb moments.
HOW DID THIS DEVELOP OVER TIME?
TTS Group, which sells education resources, contacted me about four years ago asking if they could come and have a chat to see if they could use any of my ideas in their catalogue. I now liaise with them about twice a year with any new ideas I have.
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE POPULARITY OF YOUR DESIGNS?
I am very surprised at the response I’ve had, as I am just a nursery practitioner who is passionate about what I do. I love to see the children at Serendipitys have fun and learn and develop as a result of my creations.
HOW EASY IS IT FOR OTHER PRACTITIONERS TO DO THE SAME AND MAKE THEIR OWN RESOURCES?
The benefit of making your own resources is that it is free! Everything I make is from items around my home that would otherwise have been discarded. My advice to any other practitioners wanting to get creative is not to throw anything away as it can always be used for something. Have fun with it and let your imagination run wild.