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About the Owner

Hello, my name is Shannan Mulrooney, the proud founder of Maia Purposeful Play. We launched at the end of 2022, with classes commencing in January 2023 after an extensive period of research and planning.

My early childhood education journey began during my BA (Hons) in Early Childhood Care and Education at ATU Sligo (formerly IT Sligo). After completing my degree in 2015, I ventured to the UAE to teach and with this gained an insight into diverse and various teaching approaches and curriculums. In my third year of teaching, I earned a postgraduate certificate in Primary Education through the University of Sunderland.

Deciding to return to Ireland in 2020, I embarked on a different career path, enrolling in the Masters in Leadership and Advocacy in Early Years at ATU Sligo. Balancing academics with work at a local creche and later as a substitute teacher provided busy yet enriching experiences.

My passion lies in advocating for child-led and open-ended play, fostering holistic development and sensory exploration. This passion led to the creation of Maia Purposeful Play. Through classes, children's workshops, and educator training sessions, I aim to empower parents and educators to recognize the profound impact of child-led activities on creativity, imagination, and autonomy.

I firmly believe that when children guide their play, it nurtures a sense of value and respect, laying the foundation for their overall well-being. I advocate for environments where children actively participate in their individual learning journeys, contributing to holistic cognitive, emotional, and social growth.

In interactive educator workshops, I discuss the benefits of open-ended play and share ideas that seamlessly integrate into daily routines, supporting children's development in a fun and playful manner while also addressing the well-being of educators.

My ultimate goal is to contribute to a community where children are not just passive learners but active participants in their own journey of growth and discovery. I look forward to bringing you on this journey with me. 


“Play is the answer to how anything new comes about” - Jean Piaget 

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