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Episode #33: How to Make Play Yours: An Interview with Kayla Souza

Today’s episode is with Kayla Souza, an early childhood educator of almost 20 years. This last year, she made the transition out of the regular preschool classroom setting and opened a play-based home preschool.

The past few years, she has been on a journey to learn more about play-based learning and the benefits it has for children, especially in the early years. Her motivation for doing this was her own child, who is now 3.5 and a student in her preschool program. Her child was a micro-preemie and had some significant health challenges in her first months that resulted in a 3.5 month NICU stay. Since coming home, they have worked closely with the early intervention team to support her child with her ongoing development.

Kayla believes that play-based learning is one of the best ways that we can help children continue to grow and develop, as well as meet their goals in intervention. We talk about the importance of play in early childhood and that parents are trying to not play with their children - they’re just busy! If you want to learn more about play-based learning, then this is a great episode for you!


In this episode, we learn about:

  • Kayla’s story and what it was like leaving her job and the frustrating parts of it. (3:00)

  • What Kayla thinks about play habits and how to get families on board. Kayla also recommends “The Importance of Being Little: What Young Children Really Need from Grownups” by Erika Christakis. (9:30)

  • The pressure families may be giving their teachers and how teachers can relieve that pressure (and be okay with where the Littles are at.) (17:40)

  • Showing evidence like photos and showing what’s been happening to parents can be super helpful. (19:56)

  • Worksheets vs. play-based learning - what makes a “good curriculum?” (22:18)

So brew yourself a cup of tea and listen in on the full podcast here:

Tag us on instagram @themagicoflittles and @littlelilacpreschool and let us know what you thought of today’s episode! You can also join in the conversation at the Magic of Littles Club on Facebook.

Send me your thoughts, questions, and feedback at!

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