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Real Kids, Real Play
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About the Author

Alice Zsembery is a Melbourne mum-of-two and a maritime engineer by day. With the birth of her second child, a yard that was unusable and an energetic and 'outdoorsy' toddler to take care of, Alice struggled with finding activities that not only kept him busy around the home, but encouraged him to play independently, provided educational development and maintained his attention span for longer than the time it takes to change a newborns nappy. Alice quickly became frustrated with the lack of books that encouraged play at home without too much focus on crafts (oh, the mess), huge setup times or a large investment in materials. Fuelled by a desire to reduce the clutter in her house and increase her children's engagement levels, as well as find solutions for grandparents and carers who may lack the energy or 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 and STEM experiments that could be done with household items. Her criteria for activities were that they must only use items found around the everyday home and must take no longer than 5-10 minutes to set up. Alice also insisted that each activity was tested by real children (i.e. her children or close friends) to ensure they engage the children and, as importantly, to enable the activities to be depicted through photographs (let's face it, which busy mum has time to read a novel?). Since the release of her book, Alice has been asked to speak at a variety of training and professional development days and has been recognised by parenting authority, Maggie Dent, as well as being invited onto Channel 9's Today Show. Alice is driven by a desire to make the life of every juggling parent, grandparent and carer simpler and easier. In an era where parents cannot escape advertising and ongoing comparisons with each other, she hopes to help alleviate the mental and financial burden on so many already stretched parents to keep spending on children's toys and instead focus on creating memories. Her dream would be to get this book into the hands of every juggling parent, grandparent and carer and bring back that good old-fashioned play. She honestly believes that in providing parents with a quick-resource to reference, it may just contribute to easing the mental, physical and financial burden felt by so many parents (and other carers) these days and help them remember that the best play is, in fact, simple.

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