I’m Alison and I have a young family of four and live in Brisbane, Australia. We have a busy life with two young children, but this doesn’t stop us from playing!
Early Childhood Education has been a passion of mine well before we had our own children. I worked in Childcare for 10 years before becoming a stay at home Mum with my own two children.
Each day I educate them at home through open ended play. Grimm’s Wooden Toys have always been high on our wish list and we finally took the plunge when our eldest daughter was nearly two and we had new baby in our home.
With the few products we started creating invitations to play for our eldest daughter to enjoy each morning whilst I was busy with the baby.
This started with small worlds and block arrangements, then quickly got out of hand as my husband Dion would spend hours each night building elaborate creations of ball runs, stacking sculptures and domino runs for both his enjoyment and our daughters the next day.
I decided to start an Instagram account to share all of his wonderful ideas and thus @grimms_creations was born. We hope this page inspires others to explore and enjoy opened ended play with their children and to learn to play again themselves.
We never knew it would be as popular as it is and only a few months after we started the account Dion had the absolute privilege to join the Grimm’s team at the 2019 Nuremberg Toy Fair in Germany.
Everyone was so kind and inviting and we hope to meet again with myself and the children when they are old enough to cope with the long haul flight and jet lag so they can see who creates some of their most loved toys.
We see the way our eldest daughter plays now and how our baby engages in loose parts play. We know that as they grow these toys will grow with them, as will their ability in what they can create.
Open-ended play means that there is no correct way to play or engage with the material. Resources of this kind can be used in a range of ways and have multiple uses and possibilities which allows children to express their creativity through play.
There are many benefits to this kind of play and a few strong reasons for us choosing this in our home was to enhance their imagination and strengthen their understanding of the world around them.
This is only the beginning and we look forward to playing and creating with Grimm’s for many more years to come.
Alison Barns, Toddler activities at home