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e037 – Time to Play with Dina Ottoni Battistessa

Dina Ottoni Battistessa is a mom to 3 active boys. She is also a wife, educator, entrepreneur, author and self proclaimed minimalista! Dina has always had a passion for supporting parents and children through the early years and beyond. She graduated with a Double major in Liberal Arts and Women Studies and went on to complete a Bachelor's Degree in Child Studies and Development from Concordia University, Montreal.⁠ By day Dina is the co-owner at Akidemy Preschool located in Calgary, Alberta and Akidemy Playbox. By night Dina is busy sharing all her tidbits and experience about children, parenting, and simple living on her blog and Instagram.⁠ Nothing short of ambitious, her goal is to continue to connect, grow and always share!⁠

 
In this episode:

Carving out time. Creating structure & a routine allows us to have meaningful connection time with our kids & allows us to prioritize ourselves as parents.
Kids need time to play. The skills and benefits will carry through with them throughout their lives.
Sensory play encourages motor skill development, language development, scientific thinking, problem solving, & mindfulness. 
Simple living involves everything having a place physically but also time management & a predictable environment. 

 
Connect with Dina:

Instagram:

@move.play.mom 
@akidemypreschool
@akidemyplaybox

Facebook:

@moveplaymom
@akidemy

Websites:

https://moveplaymom.com
https://www.akidemy.ca
https://www.akidemyplaybox.com

If you prefer to listen, check out Episode 37 of The Part-Time Jungle Podcast. 

FAMILY OF ENTREPRENEURS
Dina feels like she was born into a family of entrepreneurs. Her dad had his own business when she was growing up that‘s been in their family for almost 80 years. Dina’s husband is also self-employed. When they met, he had his own brick and mortar retail space. There was just something about that life, including the flexibility and being your own boss, that always appealed to Dina. This is not something that happens often in the field of Education. Dina’s career in early childhood education has always been in the nonprofit sector.

 
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP? 
In 2004, when Dina first moved to Calgary, she was sitting at a coffee shop with her fiance (now husband). She was working for a large non-profit at the time and 24 years old. Her finance asked her, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”. In the building where they were having coffee, there was a bay. She pointed to it and told him that she would want to open up her own preschool program in a bay in a little building like this right in the heart of a community. Then, she wouldn’t have the red tape of a board and change could happen more quickly. Her fiance told her that he hoped that she got that one day. Dina remembers walking away from that coffee outing feeling like she had just put her dream out to the universe.

 
10 YEARS LATER
Who would have ever thought that 10 years later, that's exactly where Akidemy would open their doors! Dina and her husband moved into that community in 2006 and got to know all of the different retailers that are in the building, especially the owner of the liquor store. Dina and her husband are both Italian and love wine! The liquor store owner’s wife ran a day home and still does to this day. She and Dina often talked about working in the industry. Dina, at the time, was managing day homes. The liquor store owner and his wife knew that Dina’s dream was to open a preschool. 

 
AN OPPORTUNITY
One day, they let Dina know that the chiropractor in the building was leaving and this was her chance to open her program! This was in January of 2014. Dina picked up the phone that night and I called her best friend Tristan who she had known, at that point, for six or seven years. Dina knew that this wasn't something she could do on her own. She is the big creative idea, programming,

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