A little about us

My name is Marilia Lauria, founder of ‘Play & Beyond’.

It all started after my son, Vito, was born in August 2013 and I decided to stay at home with him. I’ve always been sure about my decision, but after few months I found the need to do something for myself which was somehow connected to my beloved career. My blog then came alive by connecting my new daily routine as a mom to my previous knowledge and experience on applying creative arts aimed at children’s social and personal development. The blog shared ideas and activities aimed at little ones’ development, most of which we tried here at home; it also included my personal thoughts on other motherhood related subjects as well as potty training tips, sleep training etc.

I am extremely passionated about children’s development through creativity, and I’ve been reading and researching even further about early development after our little guy came to our lives. After assisting few friends in engaging creatively with their kiddos, ‘Play & Beyond’ was established. A flexible and informal service for parents and caregivers who believe play and creativity can do wonders to their little ones to thrive to their best!

I have over 20 years of experience applying creative arts for personal and social development of children, until now, in the context of after school, community and school programs. As a young adult, I established and delivered youth theater programs in Brazil. After my Bachelor in Theater Arts and Masters in Applied Drama: Theater in Educational, Community and Social Context at the University of London, I co-founded and directed Green Shoes Arts, a non for profit organization providing creative activities for all ages and abilities. In New York, I have worked with University Settlement as a consultant for their youth theatre program, Grand Street Settlement as a Self-Expression Specialist for their Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program and with Young Dance in Repertory as a Drama Specialist for their Summer Program.

I feel now I am working with the root, with the very source of our children’s long life relationship with play and creativity. Play is the way babies and toddlers learn, understand their bodies and the world around them. The more we play with our little ones, the more they will learn and develop emotionally, physically and socially. It’s our responsibility to create opportunities for them to play and be creative, but it’s not always natural to us and easily we run out of ideas or feel they are too young to engage creativily.’Play & Beyond’ offers the tools for parents and caregivers to find ways to create such opportunities; it’s not about a set of specific activities you can do with your little one – you can easily find those in books – it’s about developing a playful and creative way of seeing our time with them and tacking specific needs for each family.