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Today, I bring you a giveaway from SouleMama Sponsor Playful Learning. In Mariah's words:
SouleMama: What inspired you to start your business?
Mariah: Playful Learning started in June of 2008. It was right after I had made the decision to stop working and spend more time with the girls. It was a time that I had been looking forward to since my first daughter was born. While working, I often fantasized about what life as a SAHM would be like, and, of course, in my mind it seemed like it would be heaven on earth.
However, the transition from working outside the home to working inside the home was not as easy as I had anticipated. I realized that a lot of my identity was wrapped up in my career, and without "my work" to help me define who I was for myself, I felt a bit lost. I loved working in the field of education, I loved working with children, I loved working with teachers, and I loved working with families, so, although I was thrilled to finally be with the girls, I feared that I was leaving a big part of myself behind.
Then one morning while I was unpacking all of my beloved curriculum books from my office, trying to make space for them at home, I had a moment: I realized that I could still share in all of my favorite classroom projects, lessons, and activities, yet instead of doing them with other people's children in a school environment, I could experience them with my own daughters at home. I had so many incredible and memorable experiences in the classroom with my students. Now, I would have the time to adapt and share my favorites with my own family, on our own time, in our own space. The idea seemed to blend everything that was important to me, and with a newly energized spirit, I set out to prepare for our new adventures together. Playful Learning was born out of the time we spent exploring, discovering, and growing together.
SouleMama: Is there a special place that inspires you?
Mariah: After leaving work and deciding to adapt my favorite classroom lessons into learning experiences that I could share with my girls, I set out to create a space that could provide us with both inspiration and easy access to supplies and materials. The result was our atelier. Our atelier has become one our most beloved rooms in the house. It acts as our art studio, science lab, library, writing center and playroom. My favorite part about this space is that it is ever-evolving and changes along with the interests of my daughters. I love to re-visit the atelier every six months or so to refresh and rotate materials, books,and activities. It is always inspiring to see how the girls interact in the space independently and the creative projects that emerge from their time there.
SouleMama: Tell us what you envision and dream for the future of your business.
Mariah: Because it is very important to me that my business allows me to do what I love and be a full-time mom, I am always tuning into the stages of development and interests of my daughters. In many ways I follow their lead as I decide what projects to take on next. The girls are at a very social age (ages seven and eight) and now many of the learning experiences we share include a larger circle of their friends. I have many ideas stirring around in my mind for a book project that explores the social development of children as they get a bit older. For many years I was under the impression that children need less guidance from us as they grow older—but I am finding that just the opposite is true. As their social worlds grow, so does the complexity of the situations they face and I think it would be helpful to explore activities and projects that will help them gain confidence and have the tools they need to successfully maneuver any circumstances that they may encounter.
For today's giveaway, Mariah Bruehl is generously offering the following to ONE lucky winner:
~ a copy of the book Playful Learning: Develop Your Child's Sense of Joy and Wonder
and a space in the Playful Learning Spaces E-Course, which starts Wednesday, September 14.
In addition, Mariah is also offering a 10% discount for all SouleMama readers who register for the Playful Learning Spaces E-Course by Friday, August 19th. Use code SOULEREADER at checkout.
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Thank you to Mariah Bruehl of Playful Learning!
To enter, please leave a comment in today's post (one entry per person, please). Comments will close on Sunday by 8am EST. Winners will be chosen by Random Number Generator and announced here in this post in the coming week.
Comments closed! The winner is...
Wow, this sounds amazing! How I'd love to win!
Posted by: abbie