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{ All About Playing } interview with Linda Dekkers

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Definition of play: engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose; engage in (a game or activity) for enjoyment; amuse oneself by engaging in imaginative pretence;

Since I make toys – and I’m a mother of a little one – I begin to grow more and more curious about playing. How children these days play, how parents interact and play with them, how can we play in a fun way with them, how playing can help children’s development…

For this interview I have the pleasure to introduce you to Linda and her family.

Please tell us a bit about you and your family.
We are a family of four with two boys. Jack (7) and Sam (6). We are Dutch and after a few years of New York City we have been living in Dubai for nearly 5 years now.

Best playground.
The beach!

On a free day, what is your family’s favorite activity?
Going to the beach and just letting the day take it’s course. My boys are always in the water. They love to swim and otherwise you will find them on a surf board. You will find me and my husband on the beach, under an umbrella with a take out coffee. We will sometimes be with a big group, other days it will be just the four of us. The beach is our happy place.

How do you play with your kids? With what kind of toys?
Since the kids are only one year apart, they have always played with each other. I love to let them do their own imaginary play which I sometimes initiate by building tents or playing soccer with them.

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{ All About Playing } interview with Mie Rasmussen

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Definition of play: engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose; engage in (a game or activity) for enjoyment; amuse oneself by engaging in imaginative pretence;

Since I make toys – and I’m a mother of a little one – I begin to grow more and more curious about playing. How children these days play, how parents interact and play with them, how can we play in a fun way with them, how playing can help children’s development…

For this interview I have the pleasure to introduce you to Mie and her family.

Please tell us a bit about you and your family.
My name is Mie. I am a danish mother of three. Birk (10), Ines (7) and Fjor (5).  I am an occupational therapist who has specialised in Mental Health. My husband is an architect. I try to spend as much time as possible with my children as I believe that time is the best gift I can give them. My two oldest goes to school and my youngest kindergarten.

I strongly believe in raising creativity and curiosity in my children. I do my very best to focus on the process and see where it gets us. Play is a central part of that process – it’s the best way to learn, I believe. Therefore I am happy to share my perspectives with you.

Best playground.
Nature. For sure and as my kids gets older, I see how many benefits there are from exploring nature. It’s opened-ended space and my children get to use their imagination, body and instincts. So I rather take them outdoors to explore nature than visiting a playground.

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On a free day, what is your family’s favorite activity?
On a day free we would go for an outdoor trip, do a creative project or hang out with friends or family. We love to take it slow as we believe slowness make us more awake. Activities are often combined. So we may go outdoors, the children pick up stuff along the way and afterwards they create or play with what they have found. It adds such a sweet coherence between activities.

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{ All About Playing } interview with Shelly Lloyd-Samson

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Definition of play: engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose; engage in (a game or activity) for enjoyment; amuse oneself by engaging in imaginative pretence;

Since I make toys – and I’m a mother of a little one – I begin to grow more and more curious about playing. How children these days play, how parents interact and play with them, how can we play in a fun way with them, how playing can help children’s development…

For this interview I have the pleasure to introduce you to Shelly and her family.

Please tell us a bit about you and your family.
Hello! My name is Shelly Lloyd-Samson, I am a creator, an artist, a Catholic, a swing dancer, a visual effects producer, a laugher, an optimist, a coffee drinker, an entrepreneur, and owner of Creating Creatives, an online space with fun and simple projects to help encourage creative exploration. I am also the wife of my most amazing husband, Roy. He is a technical trainer at SpaceX and has super power strengths when it comes to story telling, teaching and being an incredible dad to our 3 little creatives. Speaking of, let me introduce you to them, first there is Trystan (6), he is just like his daddy, a little engineer, with the biggest heart. Then there’s Zoey (4) who is just like her mum, an artist who believes in the probability of imagination and also believes in herself, the little firecracker. Finally there’s Zachary (2) he is a hybrid of the first two; the sweetest little monkey, he loves to play make believe, make art with his sister, and will give his brother a good run for his money on the wrestling floor!

Best playground.
The best playground is wherever we are. When we’re at a park the play structure becomes an ice-cream stand where handfuls of sand is sold for a pocketful of stones. When we’re at home, our little creatives turn cushions, chairs and pillows into what they call “lion stations”. I have NO idea where this term came from, but it’s basically an obstacle course made of everything they can lift and move around in the house. If we HAD to choose an actual playground: Disneyland! The best way to enjoy the happiest place on earth is to set aside two days. Book the Disneyland Hotel which lets you into the park an hour early. You spend Saturday lounging in the hotel, and taking advantage of the water slides and pools. On Sunday, you go in an hour early and ride as many rides as you can (which is usually a day’s worth of rides). When the park opens and everyone heads to the rides, you take a breakfast break with the family. And the rest of the day is just a huge bonus watching shows and hanging out in the happiest place on earth.

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On a free day, what is your family’s favorite activity?
Now that we’ve moved closer to the beach, it’s going to the beach! There’s something so refreshing about the sea air and the wide open spaces for the kids to run around in. There are lots of yummy places to eat, and stores for eye candy and inspiration, and of course the sand. Boy do my little creatives love the sand, they love building things with it, covering themselves in it, and finding treasures, especially shells in it. It’s a place where the kids and be kids, run their little hearts out, and scream and yell into the open air, and we as parents don’t have to sweat them breaking something, or worry that their behavior isn’t the right fit for the place we’re in. It calms and invigorates all of us.

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{ All About Playing } interview with Sofie Vansteelant

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Definition of play: engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose; engage in (a game or activity) for enjoyment; amuse oneself by engaging in imaginative pretence;

Since I make toys – and I’m a mother of a little one – I begin to grow more and more curious about playing. How children these days play, how parents interact and play with them, how can we play in a fun way with them, how playing can help children’s development…

For this interview I have the pleasure to introduce you to Sofie and her family.

Please tell us a bit about you and your family.
My name is Sofie, I’m 29 years old and work in a hospital as occupational therapist. My husband – we are not married but after 10 years together ‘boyfriend’ sounds a little bit strange – works long days as a fysiotherapist.
I always have to start working early, but I do not mind that. Because of that I have more time in the afternoon I can spend with Leonie and on Mondays we have extra mother-daughter time. Leonie is our daughter, she is 21 months at this moment.
She is a real girly girl, has all the drama, loves her dresses and dolls. On the other hand she has no fear exploring life to the fullest and she loves to do that by jumping, crawling, running, climbing everything. It makes my heart stand still sometimes. She is a clever girl – yes I know all mums say that. Speaks a lot and she learns new words every day now. I really have to be careful with what I’m saying right now

Best playground.
In our garden we have a playhouse with a swing and a sandpit, it’s really ugly but sometimes you have to choose your battles. She likes playing outside and it helps me to get my household done. It’s our best playground when the weather is okay.

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On a free day, what is your family’s favorite activity?
In the weekends we love to go outside with the family, on rainy days we make it comfy inside our tipi and color, all day long or we are watching the television.

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How do you play with your daughter? With what kind of toys?
Leonie loves pretend playing with her dolls with all the accessories you can imagine (bath, diapers, stroller, bottle,…) with her kitchen where she makes me soup. We have a slide in her room what she like doing for hours.

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{ All About Playing } interview with Rita Sevilha

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Definição de brincar: divertir-se (com jogos); entreter-se (com brincadeiras infantis); recrear-se; distrair-se; folgar;

Desde que comecei a fazer bonecos – e que sou mãe – que cada vez me interesso mais pelo mundo do brincar / do faz de conta… Como brincam hoje em dia as nossas crianças, como interagem e brincam os pais com elas, como brincar pode ajudar no desenvolvimento e na construção da identidade,…

Para esta entrevista tenho o prazer de vos apresentar a Rita e a sua família.

Por favor fale um pouco de si e da sua família.
Falar de mim é sempre um pouco difícil… em traços gerais diria que sou de opostos: descontraída mas persistente, calma mas temperamental, organizada na minha desorganização, flexível mas de ideias fixas… por aí. Em casa somos 4, sou mãe e “boadrasta” e temos todos feitios e temperamentos muito diferentes.

Melhor parque de brincadeiras.
Temos a sorte de viver no meio do pinhal e a 1 minuto da praia, por isso o parque de diversões começa em casa e estende-se pelo exterior.

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{ All About Playing } interview with Rossa Roy-Abraham

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Definition of play: engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose; engage in (a game or activity) for enjoyment; amuse oneself by engaging in imaginative pretence;

Since I make toys – and I’m a mother of a little one – I begin to grow more and more curious about playing. How children these days play, how parents interact and play with them, how can we play in a fun way with them, how playing can help children’s development…

For this interview I have the pleasure to introduce you to Rossa and her family.

Please tell us a bit about you and your family.
My family is made up of myself, Reebu my husband, Raoul our shy 6 year old and Roan our fiesty 4 year old. I work full time as an Accountant and love being creative in my spare time (I dabble in sewing, knitting, crafting, drawing, painting and cake decorating). Reebu works full time as an Engineer and his motorbike is his biggest hobby. Raoul is in Year 1 at our local school and Roan goes to Kindergarten 2 days a week and day care the remaining 3 days a week.

Best playground.
Definetly the outdoors, nothing beats being out in fresh air and sunshine.

On a free day, what is your family’s favourite activity?
Heading to a park with a playground. We are fortunate to have many parks in our locality, so we rotate between a few. The boys also love to swim either in our home pool or the nearby beach.

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How do you play with your boys? With what kind of toys?
The game my boys most frequently request I play is “Monster chasey”. I’m usually the monster that chases them around and tries to capture them.

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{ All About Playing } interview with Uju Asika

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Definition of play: engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose; engage in (a game or activity) for enjoyment; amuse oneself by engaging in imaginative pretence;

Since I make toys – and I’m a mother of a little one – I begin to grow more and more curious about playing. How children these days play, how parents interact and play with them, how can we play in a fun way with them, how playing can help children’s development…

For this interview I have the pleasure to introduce you to Uju and her family.

Please tell us a bit about you and your family.
I’m Uju, mum to two rowdy but very lovely boys (Ezra, 11 and Jed, 8) and wife to Abiye who runs a popular street food business (Big Apple Hot Dogs). I’m Babe-in-Chief at Babes about Town, a family lifestyle and travel blog aimed at parents raising cool, cultured kids in London and beyond. I’m also a TV screenwriter and head up the team at Mothers & Shakers, a bloggers’ collective running digital content campaigns for a variety of clients.

Best playground.
We’re blessed with some great playgrounds in my neighbourhood of Islington, north London. My boys like Arundel Square which has slides, basketball court, ping pong table and a tree house. I’d say our favourite ‘playground’ is the Southbank Centre. It’s really an arts and events centre, but there’s so much to do there at any time of year, and lots of it is free.

On a free day, what is your family’s favourite activity?
We love exploring the city, checking out new restaurants, going to theatre shows or child-friendly discos. We’re all foodies so a perfect day might include going out for a play in the park and then finding somewhere delicious to eat nearby.

How do you play with your boys? With what kind of toys?
I love hula hooping and my boys can hoop pretty well too. They are football obsessed, so sometimes I’ve found myself playing goalkeeper. At home we enjoy cards and board games, anything from Oware (an African board game) to Ordleg (a Scandinavian word game, a bit like Scrabble).

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{ All About Playing } interview with Arielle Goddard

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Definition of play: engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose; engage in (a game or activity) for enjoyment; amuse oneself by engaging in imaginative pretence;

Since I make toys – and I’m a mother of a little one – I begin to grow more and more curious about playing. How children these days play, how parents interact and play with them, how can we play in a fun way with them, how playing can help children’s development…

For this interview I have the pleasure to introduce you to Arielle and her family.

Please tell us a bit about you and your family.
My name is Arielle Goddard.  I am an artist, designer, and arts educator living in Los Angeles.  I run a mobile art studio and blog called ART CAMP.  My husband, Paul, is in finance and accounting.  We’ve got that whole opposites-attract thing going on. We have two girls; Riley Rose is 11 and Harper Rynn is 5 years old.  We call them our yin and our yang because they are polar opposites.  Ri is an old soul; very cerebral and poised. Harp is my wild child; a natural performer, very high energy, and incredibly funny. If she could quit school and take the stage right now she would.

Best playground.
We are surrounded by really beautiful parks and playgrounds in Los Angeles but I think our favorite playground is the beach.  My girls love combing the beach for treasures; rocks, sea glass, sea shells, feathers.. sand crabs. We are always on the hunt for the “perfect drawing stick” and when we find it we carve giant love notes and intricate patterns in the sand.

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On a free day, what is your family’s favourite activity?
We love taking day trips.  The best is when we get the chance to drive north along the coast to our favorite sleepy little beach town, Carpinteria.  If we are home, a perfect day would start with an Açaí smoothie bowl at our favorite breakfast spot, some outdoor play at the beach or the park, arts + crafts time, plus a good book and a lot of snuggles.

How do you play with your girls? With what kind of toys?
Imaginary play is big at our house. Our living room has a project going at all times. My girls build forts, they stage puppet shows, they sing, they dance, they raid my closet and play dress up.  It’s a three ring circus and aside from the inevitable trail of mess they leave behind I wouldn’t change a thing.

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{ All About Playing } interview with Mara Cascais

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Definição de brincar: divertir-se (com jogos); entreter-se (com brincadeiras infantis); recrear-se; distrair-se; folgar;

Desde que comecei a fazer bonecos – e que sou mãe – que cada vez me interesso mais pelo mundo do brincar / do faz de conta… Como brincam hoje em dia as nossas crianças, como interagem e brincam os pais com elas, como brincar pode ajudar no desenvolvimento e na construção da identidade,…

Para esta entrevista tenho o prazer de vos apresentar a Mara e a sua família.

Por favor fale um pouco de si e da sua família.
Somos uma família de 4: o meu marido Alex, o meu filho Matias de 19 meses, a nossa filha de 4 patas Abril com 3 anos e eu, Mara. A Abril e o Matias nasceram em Barcelona onde vivemos os últimos 10 anos e fundei a ilovekutchi shop. Agora voltámos para Portugal para estar mais perto do resto da família. Foi uma decisão difícil, mas necessária para que o Matias pudesse disfrutar de todos e todos dele. Somos todos tranquilos, mas com momentos de loucura controlada… O Matias é um miúdo muito intenso que requere 24h de atenção. É esperto, atento a tudo e uma esponja a aprender coisas novas. Todos os dias com ele são uma aventura! A Abril é uma salsicha brincalhona e pequenina. Ela e o Matias têm a amizade típica de dois irmãos que se entendem às vezes… é uma espécie de amor/ódio. Tanto são melhores amigos como não se podem ver um ao outro.

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Melhor parque de brincadeiras.
Sem dúvida a praia. Em Barcelona vivíamos ao pé da praia, aqui igual. A praia, o mar, a areia têm-nos acompanhado onde quer que estejamos e faz parte do nosso dia-a-dia.

Num dia livre qual a actividade preferida da família?
Ir à praia, como não! Seja Primavera ou Verão, Outono ou Inverno, lá estamos nós. A passear, a ouvir as ondas do mar, a contar histórias, a apanhar conchinhas, a correr com a Abril. Todos disfrutamos muito de tudo o que a praia tem para oferecer.

Como e com que brinquedos brinca o seu filho?
O mundo do Matias são carros. De todas as cores, feitios e tamanhos. Se é um carro fica logo com lugar cativo nas brincadeiras diárias. A Abril gosta de tudo o que faça luzes e reflexos!

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{ All About Playing } interview with Stephanie Cummings

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Definition of play: engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose; engage in (a game or activity) for enjoyment; amuse oneself by engaging in imaginative pretence;

Since I make toys – and I’m a mother of a little one – I begin to grow more and more curious about playing. How children these days play, how parents interact and play with them, how can we play in a fun way with them, how playing can help children’s development…

For this interview I have the pleasure to introduce you to Stephanie and her family.

Please tell us a bit about you and your family.
My husband and I are lucky enough to live in a very leafy part of north London with our two girls, who are one and a half and nearly three years old. In January, I resigned my position as a journalist for the BBC to stay at home full time. I have a passion for books and reading and have always been fascinated with children’s literature and illustration. Given that love, and our family’s immersion in picture books following the birth of our elder daughter, developing Two in a Tepee, a blog celebrating the best of children’s storytelling and illustration, felt like a natural progression.

Best playground.
We are spoilt for choice in our area! The playground we visit the most frequently is in a park with a lovely paddling pool, which serves as an excellent distraction on hot summer days, and when empty the rest of the year, makes a terrific space for scooter riding. There is also a brilliant little cafe which (along with serving some mean, homemade, chicken goujons) holds children’s music and story based activities.

On a free day, what is your family’s favourite activity?
On Sundays we love going to our local farmer’s market. It is held in a near-by park and is a heaven for the senses. Our girls love checking out the flowers, fruit and veg and amazing food stalls. Our older daughter squeals with delight at the sight of a certain cake-pop stand, and our little one is a big fan of soft, doughy, freshly made, German pretzels. Both girls have struck up a relationship with the orchard owner who presses their favourite apple juice. He knows when we have missed a week and what colour straws the girls take in their glass bottles of juice. Given the high probability of rain on any given day in London, more often than not, the girls wear their wellies and waterproofs and splash about in muddy puddles. It is, pure and simple, good, clean (ok, often not so clean) fun.

How do you play with your girls? With what kind of toys?
My husband works long hours and doesn’t get home in time to see the girls before they go to bed. During the week, the only time we all get to spend together is the short window before my husband goes out the door to work in the morning. We have started a daily tradition of playing a few songs for the girls while we all dance together. Recently, Joy Division’s Love will Tear Us Apart and Gina G’s Ooh Ahh, Just a Little Bit have been in heavy rotation. The girls also demand at least one game each of hide and seek and “can’t catch me!” from their dad before he goes off for the day.

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