Today I get to interview a woman who has one of the best ideas which is called My Mood Stars, A set of stars that helps children express their feelings, this is something close to my heart as my son has troubles expressing himself sometimes.
Please take the time to read about Wendy, the woman behind the stars…
Could you please tell us a bit about yourself
I am a retired child minder from Maidenhead in Berkshire. I retired in September 2017.
I love to sew and as a child minder, I often made relevant resources for my minded children out of felt.
When the Early Years Foundation Framework became mandatory in March 2012 I wanted to make a toy suitable to cover all of its area of learning:
PSED, Physical Development and Communication and Language.
2. What made you gave you the idea of what you created?
I had already made some little felt stars for a story sack for acting out the nursery rhyme Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.
I had the idea to stitch expressions on the stars depicting different moods and emotions (PSED) they could be held and played with (Physical Development) and make props for story sacks (Communication and Language)
I made these available to other child minders who then used them in their settings.
It was during my last inspection in 2015 that my Ofsted inspector urged me to develop the stars further as he saw a market for the stars not only for mainstream children but for children on the autism spectrum.
3. How does this affect your day to day life now?
Once I retired, I had the time to develop the stars further by inventing a board onto which they could pop on and off.
The Stars became My Mood Stars and the board – My Mood Stars board.
The wonderful thing that has come out of developing My Mood Stars is learning about children on the autism spectrum and children with mental health issues. Children’s mental health is a growing concern as more and more children are diagnosed with ADHD, depression and anxiety.
It is through reading and connecting with people who have first-hand experience with these issues that I have been able to offer My Mood Stars as a resource as well as a toy.
4. How has what you made been persevered so far?
Advertising My Mood Stars across different platforms has given me a lot of positive feedback. My Mood Stars are gaining a lot of attention from viewers on social media from The National Autistic Society to head teachers of primary schools.
I have been approached by several on line stores who wish to advertise My Mood Stars. My Mood Stars have appeared the family magazine Mummy & Me and will be featuring in PACEY the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years and Autism Parenting Magazine next month. So it’s all very exciting!
5. Whats it been like on this personal journey of yours?
This adventure has been all the more poignant for me as I was an abused child. I was forced to say out loud between the fragile age of four and eight that I was useless and unworthy. So I think it’s fair to say that I can relate to a lot of children who are going through the same sort of treatment and if My Mood Stars can help any child /families with their suffering, then I shall be very happy!
6. If you could give someone in your position any advice what would it be?
Today more than ever, there are many mums starting their own business in various fields. I would say to them that life is short and to not feel guilty about wanting to do something for yourself as it can only have a positive effect on one’s family. I’m not saying that it’s all plain sailing but life is too short for what ifs and that four year old who one feels guilty about rushing his bedtime story will grow up respecting his mummy who went out and lived her dream!
7. What inspires you and gives you motivation to move forward?
This may sound like a cliché, (probably because it is), but my children inspire me. They are all in their twenties now. They had a tough time before I met ‘My Forever’ husband. I’ll leave it like that. But they have grown into good people who are backing me all the way through this project. Two of them are still at home (and they still leave their towels on the floor!) but hey, one can’t have it all!
8. Can you tell us something that you like about yourself?
What do I like about myself? I like my strength and I like my compassion. I will go above and beyond to help anyone whether it be a family member or a complete stranger. I like to think that one reaps what they sew – and that adage has done me well so far.
Thank you Wendy for taking the time to talk to me today and let us have an incite into the world of Mood Stars.
I wish you all the best on your journey personally and with your business.
If you would like to purchase any of these fantastic items then you can by contacting Wendy on the link below.
Daddy Giraffe x