{ All About Playing } interview with Melissa Barling



Definition of play: engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose; engage in (a game or activity) for enjoyment; amuse oneself by engaging in imaginative pretence;

Since I make toys – and I’m a mother of a little one – I begin to grow more and more curious about playing. How children these days play, how parents interact and play with them, how can we play in a fun way with them, how playing can help children’s development…

For this interview I have the pleasure to introduce you to Melissa and her family.

Please tell us a bit about you and your family.
We are a family of 5 that consists of myself, Melissa, my husband, Damien and our three children – 4 year old twin daughters, Kaia and Noelle and our 2 year old son, Xavier.

Best playground.
Without a doubt, outside in nature. The kids are happiest exploring carefree in the forest, by the beach or even in the backyard.


In a free day what is your family favorite activity?
Sunday is typically our ‘free’ day. The kids still wake up early so our day starts around 7:00am with a big breakfast all together (eggs, pancakes, waffles, fruit, oatmeal, etc…). We then get outside to the park and beach (a block from our home), the kids are typically on their bikes or scooters and we then wander over to the coffee shop. Back home for lunch, an afternoon nap for my son and quiet time where the girls have a chance to play interrupted in their own space without their little brother.

How do you play with your kids? With what kind of toys?
With our children being so close in age, they primarily play together typically in imaginative play, singing, dancing or creating a story. They love to use blankets for all sorts of things: to create beds for their dolls, as forts to hide in, as scarves to dance with or to wrap up an imaginary injured animal. They love dolls and animals and create all sorts of stories with them. Our children also adore books and our collection continues to grow.

When you were a child what did you play and with what toys? What was your favorite one?
I grew up in a small town in the interior of British Columbia, Canada on a property a little over an acre with two siblings. We played outside; gardening, making mud pies, swinging from willow trees and exploring.

What kind of crafts/DIY projects do you like to do with your kids?
All of our children LOVE crafts and DIY cooking. Favourite crafts include drawing, painting, pasting, sticking, etc. With three little ones, so much of our time is spent in the kitchen and the importance of creating healthy meals and passing on our love of food has grown. We are fortunate to grow vegetables and herbs in our backyard in the summertime, most of which is picked by the kids before it even hits the kitchen table.

Your children prefer playing or watching tv? What they see in television influences how they play?
We spend most of our time playing so watching television is definitely something they look forward to. We actually no longer have cable television as we just don’t find the time to watch it! When our children do watch a show, it is only in Spanish. It is incredible how they involve the characters they watch into daily play.

What is your kids favorite book? And yours (from their collection)?
So far, the kids don’t have one particular favourite… maybe because we have too many books to choose from!. Reading stories with the children is of great importance to us and I really adore ‘A book of feelings by Jo Witek’.

Do you know how does your children play at school?
The preschool our girls go to is based on the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education. They absolutely love school and we are so happy that their first exposure has been so positive.

Your kids prefer playing indoors or outdoors?
Our girls love both but our son can’t wait to get his shoes on and go outside. We spend a lot of time outdoors and are fortunate to live a block from the beach and a 10 minute drive to the forest. Vancouver really is nature’s playground and our children definitely like making the most of that.


Does your children like to create their own activities / games / characters?
Yes, all day long.

Sounds and music are important in your children playing?
There is always music on in our home. Our youngest little guy lights up with music and he already has great rhythm! We have also had the children in music classes where they have the opportunity to experience various instruments, sounds, beats and tempo. Music is a big part of our lives.

What a cute family! – Thank you so much Melissa for sharing with us a little of your sweet kids playful world! 
Melissa is the Interior Stylist behind Winter Daisy – an interior design studio specialized in spaces for the little ones.


I would really like to know how your kids play? What’s their favorite toy, the one they cuddle at night?
Please leave a comment below.