Sharing My Story
What is your background?
I'm Robin, AKA The Playdate Lady. I am an Early Childhood Educator and have been working with children in a variety of settings since 1999; From preschools to recreation programs to daycare and playgroups.
I have a diploma in Child Psychology, And a Early Learning and Childcare Diploma and completed an Early Childhood Montessori Diploma. I am a college instructor of Early Learning and Childcare courses and I create resources for teachers, educators, parents and families to find new ways to play with the children in their lives.. I am a speaker and workshop facilitator on early learning topics and I work with educators to further their practice.
I have led many groups of children and youth from Preschool teacher, daycare teacher, Girl Guides and Boy Scouts to teaching Babysitter's safety to teens and teaching Intellidance babies physical movement classes.
The common theme from all the children and families I have played with was the desire to seek, play, participate and create.
Where did you start in Early Childhood?
Early on in my career with children I was a young Mom with a toddler son and working for a travelling Playschool that went to community halls around the area and offered play-based programming in locations where they did not have any similar programs.
It was a great experience and I got to see how my programming changed with each group of children in each location. I would plan one program to offer in every location that week but inevitably with each group the program would morph and change to the needs of the group. A lesson in being responsive and in listening to the children in your group.
In more recent years I carry this lesson with me in all of my leading play experiences. Noticing and listening to children and presenting invitations to play that change and grow with the children who are participating. Not so different from my travelling playschool days - using open-ended planning and welcoming the waves of play that happen naturally.
What keeps you in Early Childhood?
I spent my children’s early years teaching preschool and in doing so I included them in many activities, learnings and responses from me that were encouraging. One day my grade 3 daughter came home from school so very mad at me. After much prodding and tears and me asking, “Did something happen today?” she looked at me with teary eyes and said, “It’s not fair! You talk to us like we are people! No one else talks to us like we are people.” In that moment I knew how very important those early childhood experiences were. Someone ought to talk to children like they are people and the children should become secure enough to know when someone is talking to them with disrespect. Our little people are whole people and I know my life’s passion is to help them develop that.
Why the Playdate Lady?
As the Playdate Lady I aim to share with you new ways to explore and play. I offer resources, support, coaching and trainings on developing play-based programs and activities with kids. I am a supporter of play and believe that children learn best by doing things that they choose to do. Reach out to me to see how I can help you find ways to develop a truly enjoyable and effective Early Childhood Program.