Play is central to your child’s learning and development. When your child plays, it gives her lots of different ways and times to learn. Everyone has a unique way of learning but one thing is clear, we all learn more when what we are learning is fun, exciting, and interesting. This is why we are releasing a series of interviews with mums that take play development seriously. Today, we are interviewing Laura Jones, a single mum of Sophia (9) and Olivia (4).

Please tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a single mum of 2 from a small town in Wales. Enjoy taking photos in my spare time especially of the girls in their handmade clothes, going on adventures, family games and movie nights!

What’s the best part about being a mom?

Watching them grow! Honestly, I love seeing their little personalities bloom! And both of my daughters are so different. I really believe having kids changes you as a person (for the better) and you pick up so many life skills. You learn something new all the time. You have ups and downs but the good always outshines the bad. We love having family time with just the three of us. Being a single parent can be challenging but it definitely brings you all closer!

Play is central to your child’s learning and development. When your child plays, it gives her lots of different ways and times to learn.

What was the biggest surprise you encountered once you had a baby in the house?

How much stuff they need! Honestly, how such a little person needs so many things. Also how far you can stretch on little sleep. You think at the time it will never end and you’ll never sleep again but it does get better! You really learn new things about yourself and how strong you really are! And safety advice! I highly recommend researching safety advice about safe sleeping. Some things I wouldn’t have even thought about before doing my research.

What was the most useful baby product did you have? Why did you love it?

Baby wipes! Honestly, they are useful for everything! They’re so handy to have, I took them with me everywhere! Metanium nappy cream. It’s a little miracle in a tube and works so fast! Also, sleep bags were so useful and so much safer than blankets. My eldest daughter used one until she could walk.

Which factors did you consider while designing your child’s room?

Safety is one of the biggest factors in designing their room. An empty cot is a safe cot! Making sure there’s a 12 inch gap between the wall and the bed also for safety, blinds with no lose strings, making sure side tables and chest of drawers, etc are secure to the wall. Having a safe space to play. Making sure the cot wasn’t against a window or radiator. If you want calming colours or bright colours.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

Teleport! How much easier would it be to just think of somewhere and be there. I don’t drive so it’s very time consuming having to walk around with 2 kids, using public transport isn’t always reliable and don’t get me started with the typical Welsh weather! You’d have so much more time too!

If a newly pregnant mom asked you where she should go to find inspiration to decorate a baby room, what would you tell her?

Pinterest! It was great to find inspiration for my daughters’ room. I enjoy getting crafty so there’s also loads of ideas for accessories you can make yourself. They share a bedroom and they have completely different tastes. I’ve managed to find a way to compromise between the two. So many amazing ideas.

What were the favourite activities of your child in their bedroom? How did you manage the playtime of your kid?

My children loved pretend play. Toy kitchen, wooden food and utensils, playing shops, fancy dress, their dolls. The best way I managed their play time is to only have one activity out at a time to keep on top of the mess. If they’ve finished with their kitchen I help them to tidy up before they get the next thing out.

Play is central to your child’s learning and development. When your child plays, it gives her lots of different ways and times to learn.

As your child grows, the way he plays will change – he’ll get more creative and experiment more with toys, games and ideas. So far, what have been your highlights about it?

I love the way my youngest daughter’s drawings are changing all the time as she gets older, how much they have progressed. I love sitting watching her play with her toys, making up little characters and voices, the story lines. She’s got such a great imagination! As they’ve got older they enjoy games more, orchard toys games are fun and educational. I’d highly recommend those.

There are any bloggers, online communities or influencers do you follow for inspiration as a parent? If so, which ones?

Stacey Soloman and Kirsten Bell are big ones I follow. They’re so lovely and honest! They show that even celebrities have their struggles! They don’t sugar coat anything. And they tell you that sometimes, it’s OK not to be OK! But mainly, just my friends. They’re my biggest inspiration, and the huge platform of people I’ve met on Instagram! I’ve connected with so many people through being a brand rep for small businesses too. When I fell pregnant with my youngest we found a Facebook ‘due in’ group with women due the same month as me and that was a massive form of support through my difficult pregnancy.

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I’d like to say a very big thank you to Laura Jones for taking part in this interview as it’s a really useful resource for new parents and if you haven’t already, I’d suggest you follow her on Social Media.

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