Most average Australian households with young children have toys scattered all over the floor, under the beds, bursting out of toy boxes. Busy working mum of two from Melbourne, Alice Zsembery, was trying to entertain her son after she noticed that, whilst he was surrounded by toys, he was not engaged with any for more than a few minutes.

In fact, according to a study performed by researchers at the University of Toledo, when toddlers are provided with fewer toys in the environment, they engage in longer periods of play with a single toy, allowing a better focus to explore and play more creatively and with higher quality.

Fueled by a desire to reduce the clutter in her house and increase her children’s engagement levels, as well as find solutions for families who may lack the financial means to purchase toys and activities, Alice started searching for solutions. What ensued was two years of researching and testing a range of fun, educational and easy play activities that could be done with household items. This resulted in her publishing her first book Real Kids, Real Play.

Alice hopes that the book can ease the mental and financial burden felt by many mums, dads and carers these days, and help them remember that play can be simple. The book also includes easy recipes for childhood favorites such as play-doh, paint, bath bombs and more.

“Alice Zsembery shares my passion for play and play in the home and surrounds that does not require buying endless toys! This book is packed full of engaging activities that can happen using household items – from scarfs, socks, milk containers, plastic buckets, toilet rolls, post-it notes … just to name a few! This is a fabulous book for parents, grandparents and also ECEC educators looking for fresh ideas!” Parenting expert, Maggie Dent said.


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