Who We Are
As a teacher and play therapist I love to see children happily work together and I also have a passion for helping children when they have mixed up feelings going on.
Through this work and observing, I realised that children always felt better and learned more after engaging in the magic of play.
I felt something was missing, a space where children worked with others at a similar play stage seemed idyllic, almost a dream.
A happy space where the children’s goal was to simply have fun.
A calm space that could invite children to learn how to mindfully pause.
A safe space for children to build, create and grow together.
And with this, the wonderful world of ZenDen was born.
Founder of ZenDen
Working with children is all I’ve known my whole working life. From experience in working with them in various environments, I knew I wanted to study a method in which we follow the child based on their own personal development.
This led me to study Montessori teaching in AMI and working as a teacher for over ten years in New York, London, and Ireland.
To continue my development in the field, where the child leads and we follow, I studied play therapy with PTI and have worked in my own practice (Cornerstone Play Therapy) as a play therapist since. As a result of working in child lead environments, I am a firm believer that for children to meet their milestones and to express themselves fully, play is not only essential but is their main language.
Garda vetted, fully vaccinated, first aid and child protection.
I have worked as a montessori preschool teacher since 2016, and recently earned my degree in Early childhood care & education. I’m also a qualified yoga instructor, that has worked within trauma informed services for children and families, and have seen the benefits first hand of mindfulness for children.
“Developing awareness of emotions, the body and breath is an essential tool for children to have from a young age”
Playing is a child’s natural way of communicating, developing and learning. I love bringing dance, music and art to my practice. Children naturally love moving so there will be lots of dance and music in our classes.
With a background in art education in cultural institutions in both Brazil and Ireland, I learned that once you provide a safe space for a child to express themselves through different mediums, magic happens.
I believe that the power of play from a young age allows them to feel free to experiment and spark creativity and a special sense of knowledge about the world that surrounds them.
I believe it is important to respect a child’s pace, giving them the time and space they need, and to embrace their unique ways of expression.
Having had a lifelong passion for arts and children, I studied Early Childhood Development and achieved a Bachelor's degree in Child Psychology at University of Northern Florida. With over 12 years experience in various forms of childcare, I have developed a deeper understanding and appreciation for creative play that is essential to the well-being of the children's growth. I enjoy encouraging learning that combines the child's interests along with life tools they may need along the way. Imagination is such an extraordinary gift for everyone and has only aided in my love of teaching young children as well as learning from them. I strive to always provide a fun, nurturing and creative safe space for children so that they may grow, learn and embrace their own talents and unique personalities.
Our Core Values
1. Process, Process, Process
We believe every child should be able to have fun and not worry about the end result. We work hard to build on the children’s self-esteem and foster a ‘give it a go’ attitude. If we see a 3 legged horse or a house with two walls; that’s fine by us, it’s perfect in a fun way.
2. Every Idea Is A Good Idea
We promote a safe space where children are encouraged to share their ideas with their small team. In ZenDen every idea is valid and worthy of consideration. Through sharing ideas children build on their communication skills, grow in confidence and instill self-belief.
3. Positivity Breeds Positivity.
We create opportunities for children to feel success. We believe in the frequent use of encouragement (in lieu of praise) and work hard to intrinsically motivate our little people. We help to make amends when needed and together learn from the experience. Our absence of punishments allows a natural love of playful learning.
4. Challenge At Their Level.
We meet the children at their level and set activities within their grasp while also challenging them. We focus on the process over the product and encourage children to start over if the need arises.
5. Teamwork Makes The Dream Work.
We love to see the children working together. We understand that the early stages of play can be independent and we respect this. We weave teamwork into activities throughout the class to keep energy up and endorphins flowing!