Claire Russell began sharing her play ideas online after the birth of her son, in 2014. She quickly realised that as much as she loved spending time with him, looking after a young child was not always easy, the days could be long and lonely and though she was lucky enough to be able to fall back on her experience many were not. Passionate about play and the benefits it brings, Claire promptly started creating and sharing her realistic, quick and easy to set up ideas online with the aim of supporting other parents and their children. The response was phenomenal!
Claire has since written over 30 different varieties of her popular 'playPROMPTS' activity cards and sold almost 25,000 packs; launched an app which has been downloaded 17,000 times in over 50 countries and three online courses with 1,000 members signed up; worked with a host of companies including the BBC and LEGO; and built up a large, loyal and engaged community of over 280,000 parents, carers and educators.
Claire is a firm believer that you do not need a houseful of expensive toys to get kids playing and is fully aware that many parents do not have the time to trawl the internet looking for inspiration either. She believes that with a keen eye for spotting what she calls 'play potential', it's amazing what you can come up with to keep children busy just using everyday items found around the house or source cheaply from a pound shop or supermarket - think cardboard boxes, kitchen utensils, pots and pans. Spanning messy, sensory, and creative play, all of her activities are designed to be fun and educational, boosting children's speech and language, encouraging physical and social development and stimulating big imaginations.
Claire's debut hardback book is being published by Trapeze Books in February 2021, 'The playHOORAY! Handbook'. Featuring 100 fun activities for busy parents who want to play, it's packed full of tips and advice for creating a playful home while supporting children's development.
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