ClapHandies was formed in 2006 and currently runs over 70 classes every week across Dublin and Wicklow.
Our instructors are a group of early child developmental experts, montessori teachers, infant massage teachers, healthcare professionals, sports experts and music teachers (to name but a few of our talents!), and of course many of our instructors are also Mums.
Liza Crotty "Having had my first child Mia, I was determined to be the best parent I could be... I was surprised and disappointed by the limited choice of fun developmental and educational activities there was for us to do, so I talked to all my friends and then their friends (and even some strangers on the street!) and everyone seemed to be in the same position - there was very little on offer for very young children and parents / childminders / expecting parents.
I was looking for something both educational and fun, I wanted to have a social outlet for both of us, if I was going to join a group it had to have something that would interest me as much as my daughter. It definitely needed to be in a clean, comfortable and visually interesting space, but most of all I wanted to enjoy playing with my daughter and to meet other parents. So I set about collaborating with the people and experts who could make this happen.
A little about me... I graduated from the Samuel Beckett Centre of Theatre Studies in1990 and having worked for many years in the theatre, film and television worlds (both in front and behind the scenes) I crossed over into the corporate world of IT and Business Information Systems. For a while I was very happy living in the high flying business world but having given birth to my daughter Mia, my creative side was reawakened!
We developed the PlayLabs with our customers, and work-shopped the PlayLabs with more than 50 families over a six month period - watching, listening and learning, seeing what interested the little ones, what worked, what challenged and engaged them, and more importantly what didn't work!
And that's the story so far, we now have over 12 enthusiastic PlayLab Instructors and Office staff and are just about to launch an exciting new Party business. So we are out there playing every day (someone has to do it!).
Our customers (both big and small) are our inspiration, so if you can, why not come to one of our PlayLabs and be inspired to play more.
Thanks to all our 10,000 customers so far for all the support, companionship and fun.
PS – word of mouth is the best marketing we could wish for, so go on tell a friend about us, thanks so much for your support x