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Community Highlights: Meet Allie Ticktin of Play 2 Progress

Today we’d like to introduce you to Allie Ticktin.

Hi Allie, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I often say a child begins to learn their interests through play. For me, working with children all really started in my childhood. From the time I was very little, you could always find me playing with dolls and taking care of any baby or little kid that was around. You can say it was my calling to work with kids, but I didn’t know in what capacity. Being the daughter of a doctor, I naturally thought I would be a pediatrician, but that never felt fully right to me. In college, I learned about occupational therapy and knew that it was what I was meant to do. While in OT school, I found sensory integration and learned how powerful and important sensory play is for development. I began to realize that many parents did not understand their child’s development or the power of engaging their little ones senses from the time they were firstborn. Parents would often find themselves lost or scared as they were helping guide their little one through development and turn to google for the answers. I wanted to help empower parents to understand their child’s development and especially the power of sensory play which is how Play 2 Progress was born. I always say that I can never retire until all eight senses are well known and all parents understand what sensory play truly is (play that engages all eight senses) and how important it is for a child’s development. This last year, I also wrote a book, Play to Progress, to help get one step closer to that goal.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It has certainly not always been a smooth road. The day we shut down for the pandemic was a very scary day. We had just opened our second location and were one hundred percent in person. We didn’t know how we would pivot to a digital platform, but in the end we were able to move virtual and support families through the pandemic. As we continue to move through the pandemic, we are continuing to support children and their families as they navigate each transition and move back in person, join in person parent and me classes for the first time, start pre-school, and go back to elementary school. The pandemic has really allowed us to reach families in different ways both within LA and throughout the country.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
Play 2 Progress is a popular play-based learning platform that helps all kids build the key developmental skills they need to succeed. With two locations in the Los Angeles area and a developmental toy line, Play 2 Progress uses the science of child development coupled with the joy of PLAY! to help kids thrive in all areas of their lives by simply doing what they do best – play! Play 2 Progress offers classes for parents and children to educate, empower, and guide them on the journey through parenthood – from pregnancy through preschool and beyond. In our parent and me classes, we will teach you about the sensory system and your little one’s development while they have fun and of course, engage in sensory play.

Do you have recommendations for books, apps, blogs, etc?
For me, self-care is so important. You must put your oxygen mask on first before helping others. In order for me to be able to show up as my best at work to do what I love, it is important that I focus on my self-care outside of work. My favorite app to help me relax at the end of the night is Insight Timer. I also love mindfulness coloring books to help me relax after a long day.

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Image Credits
Dane Deaner

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