HELLO I'M ELENA
An art educator passionate about child-centred play.
As a mum in London, I realised there were not many offerings for child-centred and unstructured play in the community, and a place for parents to find support from the isolating aspects of parenthood. From this idea, Play Happening was born. I am looking forward to holding space for parents, carers, babies and toddlers, to come together to explore, connect, play and wonder. Join me. Everyone is welcome here.
Because of this, I attained a postgraduate certificate in Educational Practice while training with an organisation called The Art Room. I volunteered in this organisation for two years as part of a team that facilitated art as therapy sessions for students in schools. After this, I delivered workshops for young people in England and Mexico, working mainly with young people diagnosed with SEND, autism and Down’s Syndrome. I went on to continue my studies at UCL Institute of Education, pursuing an MA in Art and Design in Education. My main focus during this program was on child-led inquiry and inclusive education. After my MA studies, I became a mum.
I’m Elena, a Mexican artist and art educator. My first experiences in childcare came as an au pair and nanny in the U.S.A., France, Switzerland and England where I loved witnessing and nurturing the curiosity and creativity of the children in my care. As an au pair, I was able to see for the first time how raw and complex parenthood can be. I was also able to understand the phrase “it takes a village to raise a child,” Only one thing though: for most people, especially in an urban context, one has to hire “the village.”
My studies started in London, where I did a foundation in Art Therapy, at Goldsmiths College. I then went on to study Photography at Camberwell, University of the Arts London. I have always been extremely interested in child-centred approaches, and am particularly drawn to art and play as a way to make meaning of the world.