Emma Worollo is the brain behind The Playful Den, a community/blog that champions play, not just for kids but for parents too! Everyday, she helps hundreds of parents to reconnect with a sense of fun and playfulness and to us makes her the undisputed Queen of Play! Here, she tells us how she has made play her career.
Do you feel like you are doing the job you intended to do?
Not quite yet! I feel like I've done the job that was required to build the foundation to the job I am intended to. I'm getting close!
Describe a happy episode of your childhood that connects you to the creative person you have become.
My middle childhood (8 - 12 years) was very free. I was an independent child and organised my own social schedule and play time. I always had something to do and somewhere to go. I thrived on the independence and every bit of downtime felt like I could plan an adventure, I was a big dreamer, dancer, explorer and creator. I didn't obsess over any one thing, but I enjoyed moving around activities and places. On reflection, my play was very 'pick n mix' and I still live like that. I like to dive into a project, artist or type of play and while some stay with me I don't feel the need to perfect and master it all, I like a variety to keep my inspirations evolving.
What story/book do you associate with your childhood?
I loved The Far Away Tree series. The idea you could climb a tree with your friends to another land I think was peak imagination to me. I also connected to the freedom and independence the children had, a creative world away from adults that thrived on their imagination and sense of adventure. I sometimes feel sad that this is more absent from modern childhood.
How do you keep creative and full of wonder now as a grown-up?
I play, everyday when I can and I think about things I used to enjoy as a child and wonder - why did I stop? Today I like to roller skate, hula hoop, make necklaces, bake and go hiking, all things I thrived off in childhood and have been so energised to put back in my life. I am also an entrepreneur and I love the process of spotting opportunities and coming up with creative solutions, I have made a career doing this.