Babywearing with Jess


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“Wrap Parties” and “Doll Play”

Before really embarking on this Sling and Carrier Consultant process, I like many babywearers, had a decent stash I liked to share with my friends. Babywearers sharing the carrier love is one of the most common ways one might “go down the rabbit hole” and build up a stash of their own.

At children’s birthday parties, BBQs and social gatherings, at Playcentre and SPACE, I just kept bringing along my ever growing stash to share with others. These ladies, my friends, where the ones that encouraged me to find a way to make this passion my work. They were the ones who lead me to discover the concept of a consultant even existed, long before I had set up my business or done subsequent training.

At a Tupperware party earlier in the year (“Wrap parties of my dreams…”) I again had my stash along with me and was pulling out a variety of options that I knew friends of mine had asked me about trying… Someone commented, “now it’s like a wrap party”!

I love that term. Old friends of mine snicker when I am talking to them about my work now and I mention “wrapping”. It’s a funny play on words. I know in part the main blame for the humour here is my youthful consideration of myself as a bit of a “gangsta” in the least authentic sense of the term! My first car had no band expander and my sister and I developed a strong love for the 88.6 Mai FM playlists as we drove to our private school in the Eastern suburbs of Auckland.. Real “gangsta” 😛

And the “doll play”… Well that’s a pretty fun aspect to if I am honest! I didn’t play that much with dolls as a kid, we tended to dress and push around our poor family dog in a pram haha. A certain Miss Four said to me the other day as I had my case out again at her birthday party playing with options with her mum, “you play with dolls a lot more now Jess! I like it!” 😉

The overheads and costs of a consultant service can be high, by offering workshops, it is an attempt on my behalf to make a more expensive service more affordable. One way I have done this is by offering “Babywearing workshops & Library sampling events” at Mama Maternity which I posted about earlier in the week.

Another option is for me to come to you. I can offer small in home workshops with between 2-4 people at $45 per head. Another option is a “coffee group” setting, where I can come with my library and dolls and do a workshop where you are. This option allows for slightly higher numbers but the depth of learning might not be quite as detailed as in a smaller setting.

Parent’s group workshops are $30 per head (plus travel) and appropriate for between 4-10 learners. Consider it a cross between a detailed, more intimate in home session and the more introductory/overview, quick tips and tricks workshops I am holding at MAMA Maternity (these events are held monthly for $25 per head in Sandringham, Auckland).

I will still give you a brief overview about baby physiology and some of the history and benefits of using a carrier with our children and babies. I will talk about safety and positioning in a carrier and answer any questions you guys might have about that. At the start of any of my workshops, the first part will us all doing a bit of talking and me giving my take on any points of confusion or answer any particular questions people might have.

Then I jump into a bit of a quick series of demo’s just designed to give you some kind of taster of the various styles and options available to you. I fear too many people buy an option that doesn’t work for them and rule out the concept of using a carrier all together…

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After demonstrations we can open the library for playing and exploring with the dolls. Using the dolls to try options and practise new techniques means we can get through more in the time we have together. Being that I am in your setting, children are of course welcome to be part of the experience. There is some rules about them not biting my dolls (which I can’t yet work out how to stop my youngest doing without them locked up in a plastic container!) and unless you are wanting fit assistance with a carrier you are already confident using, I would ask that you use a doll rather than your child to play with my library.

I am currently building up my “mini case” of children’s size carriers and demo dolls so I hope to have that completed to bring along to let your children also be part of the experience in a different way. Also, we are a Playcentre family so I know full well what it is like to be on session, if you would like me to come along to a session or group that is going to have children present and messy play, I hope you realise I won’t be bringing all of my “pretties” along with me 😉

 

 

Just like the MAMA Maternity workshops, the beauty of these learning settings and indeed the nature of consultancy in the babywearing world, is the focus on tailoring the content and focus on what the people within the workshop want to do… The more information your group can give me before we actually do the workshop, the more helpful and selective I can be about the content, information and resources I bring along for you.

If you would like to talk to me about seeing if a Parent’s group workshop would suit your needs or to discuss scheduling or content, please contact me, by email – babywearingwithjess@gmail.com, phone – 0226714060 or through my Facebook page – www.fb.com/babywearingwithjess/


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Playcentre Awareness Week!

This week is Playcentre Awareness Week so I am going to take the opportunity to rave about it here as my passion and enthusiasm for Playcentre is right up there, and probably equal with that of mine for babywearing!

In fact, I have already previously blogged about Playcentre here – https://babywearingwithjess.wordpress.com/2016/02/02/i-am-now-that-mum/

Playcentre has empowered and added enjoyment at every stage yet on our parenting journey for both my husband and I. It has given us education, structure, community and some amazing friends in the process. It really is about supporting whole whanau’s as well as teaching and developing our little people.

A friend asked me today, “what do you do there?” to which I excitedly replied, “we play!” 😊

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Jai discovering body painting, 8 months old, Kumeu Playcentre

The idea of child initiated, adult supported play is that we follow the kids lead. When you think about it, it makes sense for that be a great way to help them learn..  Even as adults when we are interested in something we are learning, we are so much more motivated and it is generally easier for us to learn. Kids of course, are just the same!

So we let them take the lead, they show us what they are interested in and it’s our job to notice and recognise the learning taking place in thier play and then plan responses which can help them extend their learning. But how we do that, really is just to play too.

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Me thoroughly engrossed in some musical play, a jam session with about 5 or 6 kids, at West Harbour Playcentre when Josh was about 18 months old.

We are really lucky in New Zealand, not only to have a great early childhood circumlum in general (Te Whariki) but that we have such a special opportunity to promote and teach our children ourselves through this circumlum. For the record, I would go absolutely insane being at home with my kids all day and the emphasis on unstructured learning through play is not something I am awesome at all the time in isolation. But Playcentre provides both the physical environment and resources as well as the mental & emotional support to focus on doing that with my kids.

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Me getting my pregnant belly painted at Playcentre while Jai kicked the paint brush through my puku to great delight of the artists!

The first Playcentre was opened in 1941 in Wellington. The movement started during the Second World War as a way to provide a break for mothers as well as means to allow for the social development of the child within a cooperative environment. I guess in its essence, it was always about creating and supporting that “village” it takes to raise our kids…

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Josh at West Harbour Playcentre, 10 months old

I asked Josh today, “why do you like Playcentre?” he quickly replied, “cause its a really fun place to be!” also followed by “if people don’t know how awesome Playcentre is, you should tell them all about playing in the sandpit & the smokey fire volcano we made today!”