Hi and welcome to the Jillybeans blog! For those who don't know me, I’m Jill. I’m an early childhood educator and development play expert. I’ve worked in early childhood education for over ten years, both as a preschool teacher and in my business, Jillybeans, which provides classes and special events to babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. While it’s not always the most glamorous job (think toddler sneezing into your mouth...and yes, that has actually happened to me), I love being a teacher. I feel like teaching was in my blood. My mom’s a teacher, and I have many distinct childhood memories of “teaching” my little sister and a classroom full of our Barbie dolls in our basement.
So what can you expect to find on this blog? I’ll be providing simple ways for parents to facilitate interaction and play and sharing some of my favorite materials to use. My approach is tailored to each child’s unique engagement style. I’m always amazed at how activities can evolve at the hands of a child, if I just allow the space for that to happen. I truly believe that every child, even from infancy, is incredibly capable and special, and as the adults in their lives, we can help to promote and strengthen that.
Oh… and another thing… I’m pregnant! With my first child, a baby girl, due in November 2020!
My husband, Matt, and I found out the news the week that matters with Covid-19 really materialized across the country. Within days of the positive pregnancy test, the world basically imploded. New York City, where we live, had completely shut down. Going through this process, as first-time parents during an unprecedented time, is definitely not how I imagined it (more on that in future posts), but I’m feeling good, and above all else, incredibly lucky to be healthy!
So, in addition to sharing ideas and information around play and engagement with your little ones, I hope you’ll join me as I stumble through the journey of becoming a first-time mom. I hope I can help remove a layer of stress around working toward early developmental milestones and use my years of teaching experience to make play and engagement feel easy and accessible!