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Inspiring Conversations with Valerie Fenton of Creative Play KC

Today we’d like to introduce you to Valerie Fenton.

Hi Valerie, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
Creative Play KC was born out of a passion for creating fun, hands-on play experiences for my own kids and wanting to share that with parents and teachers everywhere! My background is in early childhood education and I served as director of an early learning center for about five years. I enjoyed leading a team of early childhood educators and loved coming up with creative ideas to expand on the curriculum. Before that, as a preschool teacher, I was always creating fun (and sometimes messy) activities for my class of 2-3 years old. I got to see how engaged they were in play and how much they were learning firsthand. Years later, when I became a stay-at-home mom to my oldest son at around one-year-old, I began creating sensory bins and activities for him every month to keep him busy and having fun while learning new skills to meet his developmental milestones. I am a big advocate for learning through play and believe that all children should be allowed to simply play, explore with their hands, spend time in nature, and just experience all that childhood has to offer. As parents, it is one of our many jobs to create opportunities for play and provide an environment in which our children will thrive. I hope that through Creative Play KC, I am able to help make that job a little easier for parents everywhere…and make playtime fun and exciting for kids of all ages!

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I am still very new to being a small business owner. We just launched at the beginning of this year (January 2021). It has been great and has grown faster than I expected! I think my biggest challenge so far has been learning how to balance motherhood with my work. I am a stay-at-home mama to my two boys (ages 3 and 1). My family will always be my #1 priority and at this current season in motherhood. My little guys require a lot of my energy and attention. Going from being a stay-at-home mom of 1 to being a working “momprenuer” of two has definitely been an adjustment, but I wouldn’t trade it. I am learning more and more every day and am so grateful to get to do what I love while being with my boys every day!

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Creative Play KC?
Creative Play KC is a small, mom-owned business located near the KC area. Creative Play KC specializes in creating carefully crafted sensory-based play kits for kids of all ages. We believe that children learn best through play and that by providing them with fun opportunities for hands-on play, we are fostering a life-long love of learning and exploration.

Creative Play KC makes play easy for parents! We provide full sensory-based play kits, Play Clay kits (homemade, scented playdough) and more!

Creative Kids Crate is the newest addition to the Creative Play KC brand and is a one-of-a-kind subscription box for kids! Creative Kids Crate combines amazing learning resources with sensory play materials to create an amazing play-based learning experience. Each crate features a unique learning focus and an exciting, high-interest theme to keep playtime fun and engaging for kids of all ages. Creative Kids Crate is made possible in partnership with another local, mom-owned business, Paper Plane Educational Resources.

What would you say have been one of the most important lessons you’ve learned?
I am still learning every day, but I think so far, the most important lesson I have learned is to not be afraid to ask for help. They say raising children takes a village (and that’s true) but it is also true for running a successful business. I am so grateful for my little tribe of mamas and other small business owners that have shown their support…be it engaging on my social media, participating in or inviting me to be a part of giveaways, inviting me to local vendor events, sharing about my business with their friends, answering my questions or offering advice…the list goes on! I have no doubt that my business would not have grown as much as it has in its first seven months without all of that love and support.

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Faces You Love by Helen Ransom

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