Yay - you're here!

I'm Amy Cox + I like squishy hugs.

I’m (just a) small town giiiiirl, imperfect human and Aussie mama to 4 enjoying the process of becoming my best self, obsessed with helping others do the same.

About Amy Cox

Here's a few of the things I answer to:

I’m here to help you create connection through being playful.

But first I need to call out the elephant in the room...

It's easy to get caught up in *unhelpful* beliefs that make

parenting life harder...

Like these:

 

 

I know this because I totes bought in to every.single. one of those beliefs.

 

It was 2012.

 And after having my first two kids in 17 months, I felt ripped off.

 

I’d waited my whole life to become a mum and do the sort of fun, hands-on activities that I’d delivered to hundreds of students in my career as an award-winning teacher.

 

But I had TOTALLY overlooked something....

 

I had totally underestimated the impact of being in the haze (aka  being crazy-tired) and the effect it would have on my 'ability' as a parent.

 

(I felt like this 👇🏽 ... except with another bub + eleven millionty baskets of washing to fold.)

Enjoy Approach + Playful Path SQUARE Website pics (4)

In those early days...

What I thought being a parent looked like DID NOT take into consideration these

extremely important truths:

Playful Path: Family

Parenting is a NOT a one and done - it' an evolving practise (verb, with an s for the Aussies).

My intentions and ideology meant sweet FA if the individuality and constantly evolving development of my kids were not taken into consideration.  It also meant nothing if I didn’t lean into the fact that I was constantly evolving alongside my kids too.

 

7

Being a parent isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon.

I stretched myself so thin I was see-through trying to be the ‘perfect’ mum, wife and teacher in those formative years. 

I had RADICALLY underestimated the impact being tired would have on my ability to parent the way I thought I was going to. (And as someone who had 4 kids in 5 years, pregnant at least two months every year from 2010-2016, this exhaustion was all encompassing).

Why did I wake up some day feeling more tired than when I went to bed the night before? 

How could juggling #AllTheThings feel lighter and easier?

Teaching parents the importance of play

Connection is cultivated in the pauses and micro moments. 

I was a moving target In those early years of my parenting journey.

I was constantly DOing. Scurrying from one thing to the next.  I was so busy striving for an unattainable ideal that I wasn’t as present or connected as I yearned to be, or *truly* honouring the season of motherhood I was in.

The truth I've now learned? The emergence of my children’s identities, their understanding about the world, their resilience and well-being didn’t need a constant source of busy-ness...they needed something to balance this: to simplify, carving TIME and SPACE.

Honouring the season of motherhood
9

We are entrenched in an outcomes-focussed culture that celebrates 'busy'. It literally sets us up for failure. 

A ‘good mum’ is always there for her children, selflessly ready for their every need. She provides the latest and greatest ‘activities’, has a clean house, a rewarding career, cooks nutritious home-cooked meals and gets her body ‘back’. 

The problem with this? We are humans, not robots.  

 

Want to know the kicker? 

 

The pressure I felt to do #ALLTheThings and step into being *the* mum pre-kids-me thought I would be?

 

That’s actually unicorn parenting:

it didn’t exist! 🦄

 

Striving for that unattainable goal was only making it harder to connect with and engage with my little ones. #FacePalm

 

Playful Families Quotes
About Amy Cox

 Lots has changed since those early days.

My boys are 11 and 9.5, and my girls are 7.5 and 6.  

 

I've taken my advocacy for play to the next level as a clinical Masters postgrad, leveraging the power of play as an agent for therapeutic change.

I'm a matrescence activist obsessed with using the science of development to empower families.

What I do for Families has been called the

"Antidote to the darker side of modern life."

Enjoy Approach + Playful Path SQUARE Website pics (5)

One of our main mantras:

Connection, NOT Perfection

About Amy Cox

Since 2018, I've created a movement empowering over ten thousand families through my online membership, Play Squad, free online ‘Playful Challenges’ as well as my group experience, The Smile Connection


Whether it’s landing a fortnightly segment on local radio, winning awards, speaking at conferences or collaborating with profiles like IKEA Australia and New York's Domino Magazine, I am fiercely eager to make the biggest impact the world has ever seen on the perception of play and the role motherhood plays in building children’s brains.

So that's me.

I’m not some got-it-all together super-parent.

 

I’m just a learning-obsessed, connection-fuelled Aussie mum here to help you use play to bring more joy and ease into the precious time you have with your little ones!

 

Because the thing about being PLAYFUL?

 

It’s not so much about what you are DOing…But more about how you are BEing.

 

 

And something tells me that because you are here reading this, it means you are ready for a new way too.

 

 

A way that serves YOU, serves your family AND humanity.

It's possible. It's happening.

 

 

Come join the movement - I am SO glad you are here.xx

Website design - about Amy (1)

Get started on your journey

WATCH THE [FREE] MASTERCLASS

The quickest way to get started! Check out our free masterclass packed with simple, practical tips to have more FUN with your children, nourish their development without all the other jobs getting out of hand

What we do:
our ENJOY Approach

Our ENJOY approach is how we help our Playful Families! It helps you find fresh ways of thinking about being a parent in the 21st century that serves you, your family and humanity.

How we do it:
Our playful path®

Our cyclical, family-specific pathway empowers you to lean into *your* unique family in a world where conventional wisdom, societal conditioning and socially-curated ‘norms’ can make us believe we're not doing enough.

Read on for a little bit more about my story...

About Amy Cox

it's *always* been about play

I grew up in a small country town. As the eldest of 4 kids and 14 cousins, I was the instigator of childhood games and the leader of mischief. My imagination, drive for play and creativity left very space for boredom.

I CAME HOME TO MYSELF WHEN I FOUND TEACHING

 

After tumultuous teenage years, I truly became who I was meant to be when I enrolled to be a teacher.

I met my spunky hubby at uni and graduated with distinction and membership of the vice chancellor's list (top 1% of undergrads). 

 

About Amy Cox

 

I was also the recipient of a few awards,  an Australia-wide award for Innovative Curriculum and another for Excellence, Perseverance and Integrity. 

I often presented at meetings and conferences.  Other teachers visited my classroom and I had many student teachers.

 

 

I thought I knew what to expect from kids when I became a mum.

I would be a playful, peaceful parent.

My kids would do all the ‘right’ things.

In short? I was naive, idealistic and - without realising -  judgemental. 

 

(Don’t worry...reality hits soon, I promise.)

Teaching at an international school in China changed the trajectory of my career

 

The year before we became parents, my hubby and I taught at an International school in China. 

 

Teaching a class of 3 to 5-year-olds with TOTALLY different languages, backgrounds and cultures woke me up to a powerful truth that shifted the trajectory of my career.

 

Even thought they couldn't SPEAK the same language, there was a universal language that united them all.

They all innately knew it

 

They learnt new social skills, academic skills, communication and personal skills through this universal language. 

 

It was powerful and natural.

It was the language of  PLAY.

 

My advocacy for play took seed in this year.

 

About Amy Cox - living in China

When reality strikes

 

When we returned to Australia in 2010, my ideology of a playful, education-focussed childhood was STRONG.

 

I had seen the transformative power of play firsthand, and I so imagined my days as a parent filled with ease, educational play, heart-warming smiles and giggles whilst I sipped my hot cup of coffee.

 

But when I had to return part-time to work with two active little boys under the age of 17 months, reality hit me HARD.

About Amy Cox - reality strikes

MATRESCENCE: being a mum AND a teacher

 

Returning to teaching post kids was HARD. 

 

Not because I didn’t love teaching (I did!) but because I felt like I was dropping all the balls.  

 

About Amy Cox - juggling all the balls

 

It was this crazy polarity.  

I wanted to soak up every second of my kids’ early childhood years, but felt like everything I had worked so hard for over my career was slipping away.  

 

I felt like I was constantly playing catch up - I wasn’t able to be the mum I wanted to be OR the teacher I knew I was. 

 

Leadership at my school changed during this time.   I started seeing more and more formal learning pushed down into early childhood classrooms at the expense of play.  

 

When I expressed my concerns with this to the leader of the school at the time he said to me that I shouldn’t worry about my career as much now I had kids, I ‘just needed to coast’ and ‘take it easy’. 

 

I felt powerless and ANGRY.  

 

When I fell pregnant with my third child and started planning: how could I advocate for play?  

How could I be a mum AND make a difference?

A NEW WAY: AN ADVOCATE FOR PLAY

 

In 2014, I had 3 kids under 3 and launched my first business, My Little Play Pack. 

 

As my impact as a part-time teacher was limited, my goal was to empower parents to be advocates for their child's right to play. 

 

My ‘Play Packs’ simplified research on child development along and included resources and ideas to inspire and elevate play.  

 

I also facilitated in person ‘playful sessions’ that highlighted how powerful play was for children.

 

About Amy Cox Playful Families
About Amy Cox Playful Families

 

Juggling 10m2 of products in a tiny house with 3 kids under 3, markets, post-office runs and part-time work was not easy. 

 

When I fell pregnant with my 4th child in 2016, I decided not to continue with My Little Play Pack.

2021 WEBSITE TEMPLATE Transparent Headshots kajabi nov 21

THE ERA OF INSTAGRAM

 

When we moved to the Pilbara in 2016, I started sharing my advocacy for play and snippets of our days as a Mum of 4 on Instagram.

 

I co-founded a play challenge account with the gorgeous Nichole from @youclevermonkey, advocating for the power of play in early childhood. To this day, over 180,000 photos have been shared to #earlylearning101.

 

 

 

As I started sharing, I heard from other mamas about their own experiences of motherhood. 

 

Spending hundreds (AND HUNDREDS!!!) of hours on Instagram, I saw firsthand the damage of ‘perfection’ on motherhood's invisible load.

 

In 2018, I stopped sharing so regularly and created an online membership called Play Squad®. I knew how much parents would benefit from saying a big, collective SEEYA to the pressure of ‘perfect’.

 

I wanted to create a truly supportive community where mothers could relate to one another, as well as the messy-haired human on the screen, find play ideas that worked for kids like theirs, ask the questions they need answered and gain confidence and self-belief as a mum.

 

A place where they could celebrate small wins (and complete fails!) with a nurturing, big-hearted online family!

Connecting, not

perfecting

I’ve seen thousands of parents (mamas especially) striving for this unattainable and inflexible idea of ‘perfection'

 

I knew I wanted to advocate for play AND highlight the impact that parents have on their children's developing brains, so I became a ‘Mama Rising’ accredited facilitator, completed courses in Relational Neurobiology and started my Masters in Play Therapy. 

I’ve created trademarked processes and programs based on this study and experience.

 

 

I'm utterly obsessed with sharing this 'new way' with families.  

A way that serves YOU, serves your family AND humanity.

 

It's possible. It's happening.

 

And we are just getting started!

 

Come join the movement - I am SO glad you are here.xx

Get started on your journey

Playful Famlies_Masterclasses

WATCH THE [FREE] MASTERCLASS

The quickest way to get started! Check out our free masterclass packed with simple, practical tips to have more FUN with your children, nourish their development without all the other jobs getting out of hand

What we do:
our ENJOY Approach

Our ENJOY approach is how we help our Playful Families! It helps you find fresh ways of thinking about being a parent in the 21st century that serves you, your family and humanity.

How we do it:
Our playful path®

Our cyclical, family-specific pathway empowers you to lean into *your* unique family in a world where conventional wisdom, societal conditioning and socially-curated ‘norms’ can make us believe we're not doing enough.