I’m thrilled to welcome teacher and author Lisa Forsythe to my blog today. Lisa’s debut book, Simple Activities for Toddlers: A Practical Play-at-Home Handbook for Parents was inspired during the recent pandemic. With a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Teaching, Honours (UON), a Master of Education (CSU) and a Graduate Diploma in Teaching of Asia (ANU), Lisa has plenty of expertise and knowledge to share. Her book is full of fun activities, predominately using recyclables.
Over to Lisa…
Tell us a little about yourself. (How did you get started writing? What do you do when you’re not writing?).
I’m Lisa, a 37-year-old mum, author and teacher. I am Australian but have lived in England, New Zealand and Spain. I love to experience new places, cuisines and cultures.
I have always loved writing, whether it was a journal, short story or poem. As a child, I loved to read and my mind would always wander off on adventures in faraway lands. I wanted to write so others would be taken on a journey too.
I hope to make a positive difference in the education of children and contribute to families using more materials they already have in their home.
Is this your first book? How many books have you written prior (if any?)
This is my first book.
What genre is it, and what is it about?
Non-fiction book aimed to empower parents with quality play-based learning ideas for their toddlers. The activities predominately use recyclables, household items and craft supplies – helping reduce the need for excess toys.
All the activities in this book will work on multiple key skills simultaneously. This means these activities are perfect for your child’s holistic development. The various activities aim to offer a meaningful play experience and allow them to practice being independent thinkers and learners. For toddlers, every single activity can, and should, be play-based.
What or who inspired you to write this book?
Last year (2020) was challenging for many families. In March Spain, along with many other countries, went into lockdown. We were confined to our apartment with an almost 2-year-old. Like the entire world, our lives were turned upside down.
Suddenly, I needed to entertain my toddler all day long whilst making sure I offered a variety of activities and physical exercise while cooped up in an apartment. I drew on my experience as a primary school teacher to create play-based activities to engage my son whilst ensuring he was developing holistically. I started an Instagram page, @simpletoddleractivities, to share some of the activities we were doing with friends and family to offer activity ideas if they needed them. Then, it became something to keep me sane during that challenging time. Finally, it grew into something much larger, a community of people who shared ideas and provided each other with play inspirations.
Throughout this journey, I realized parents wanted some inspiration for play-based activities to keep their toddlers busy whilst giving them the best start in life. Being a primary school teacher and parent, I wanted to use my teaching expertise to create simple activity ideas that are attainable for other parents and yet achievable for their toddlers. I try to use resources that are easily accessible, like recyclables, household items and common craft supplies. Furthermore, I want to help reduce overconsumption that plagues many families and in turn, has negative impacts for the environment.
What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?
Believe in yourself and your topic. I kept thinking that I didn’t have the photography skills to produce a book, I reached out to a professional and my problem was solved.
What do you enjoy most about writing and why?
I love ideas coming to life on a page and knowing that it may spark curiosity and creativity in other families’ lives.
List three interesting facts about yourself
- I love the outdoors, especially the beach.
- I cannot draw to save my life.
- I love to read crime novels and thought I would publish a book in that genre.
What is your least favourite part of the publishing/writing process?
For me, it’s the marketing part. As a self-published author, I don’t have a wider network to promote my book. I know I have a quality product, but the market is saturated and it’s difficult to attract traffic to my book.
What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?
As a consumer, you have so much power.
- Talk to your friends, mother’s group, playgroup and family about the book.
- Buy it as a gift.
- Share on social media.
- Write a review on Amazon, Goodreads, other social media platforms.
- Show the resource to other families who attend your child’s nursery or preschool.
What is your next project?
I would love to create more books for various stages of a child’s development. My next one would be aimed at 4-7 year olds.
Do you find yourself repeating the same activities with your toddler and are looking for new innovative ideas on how to keep them amused whilst making learning fun? If so, Lisa and Thomas have lots of great ideas to help you.
The activities in this book are of high educational quality that maximizes the best use of your time, resources, and space. These play-based activities help your child thrive and ensures that they get a head start in life. All the activities have been ´toddler approved´ or field tested by Thomas.
Lisa Forsythe has over 15 years of experience as a teacher across Australia, NZ & UK. Since becoming a mother to Thomas she has focused her time on developing simple activities that develop foundational skills toddlers need to learn before engaging with more complex concepts and understandings. This is a practical guide for parents that creates opportunities to bond with your child and make beautiful life-long memories.
The activities predominately require things like recyclables, household items and common craft supplies; so, saving you money whilst being kind to the environment. There are a range of activities from sensory play, imaginative play, STEAM, crafts and games. They spark curiosity, enjoyment, motivation, deep learning, and creativity. The hard work of planning and ensuring that your toddler is equipped with the foundational skills they need for life has been done for you.
Connect with Lisa Here: