About Me

Hi my name is Judy. I started my adult life as a primary teacher which I really loved.
I loved providing a warm nurturing environment in which children were eager to learn and could develop their minds.
The challenge of teaching children the skills necessary to read and write, become lifelong learners and develop socially was so rewarding. However after 27 years I decided it was time for a new challenge.

I knew I had to do something I was passionate about. The idea of opening a children’s educational store (with books of course!) appealed. Having also been a play centre mother, I understood the connection between educational toys in early childhood and learning in school so it seemed like a natural fit. I felt this could be the next step in my life and was where I belonged.

After a lot of hard work (and one store move later) I now have a store in Bethlehem Town Centre, Tauranga. I really treasure the relationships that I have built with children, parents and grandparents over the years. I see adults wanting to help their children learn and at the same time as ensuring they are having fun. I guess that is where my passion now lies, finding toys that are really engaging, that fit the individual child and make brains think.

A bit more about me…

My favourite quote is “And boredom and confusion are the prime sources of childish wickedness” from “Charley is my Darling” (Joyce Carey).
 
While teaching I trained as a Reading Recovery teacher and was involved in the Early Numeracy Project. (Reading and language were my focus)

In my spare time I am a member of Zonta International Tauranga, like to potter around in my garden, enjoy reading and love catching up with my friends.

I have two grown up children; my son, who has just established his own contracting business in the Bay, and my daughter, a beauty therapist in London (I can't wait till November when she and her partner are coming home).                            
 
I found the hardest thing about being a parent is learning when your children need a parent or want their mother. You can’t bring your children up according to other people’s ideals and there are always plenty of people offering advice
 
Before I purchase a new product for the store I have to analyse what the educational benefits of the product are. I am constantly seeking products from suppliers that supply toys that aid the development of special needs children.
 
I am the 2nd child in an extended family of five (3 girls, 2 boys). I always tended to nurture the younger siblings. And I have realised, no matter how old you are you are still you're parents little girl.
 
When my children were young they went to our local play centre. Here again I loved the relationships we all formed. To this day both my children and I have firm friendships with our old play centre friends.
 
The thing I miss most about teaching is the daily contact with ‘my children’. I love the rapport I had with them. I loved the challenge of teaching them regardless of their abilities. I loved being able to reflect development and being able to say “I taught them that!”
 
The thing I miss least about teaching is the bureaucracy it was killing the fun.

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Growing minds with great toys

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