Eager to reach out to others in the same boat, she started sharing ideas for simple games on social media to help other parents and guardians keep their little ones entertained while on maternity leave.
“I wanted to use my expertise as a teacher to help other parents but it was also something for me too because I wanted to use my brain and my own creativity”, explains the 30-year-old.
Ruth, who lives in Wolverhampton, quickly gained a loyal following on social media and she started hosting a live streaming session offering activity suggestions and answering questions.
Her intention was to return to her role as a part-time assistant manager at the end of her maternity leave, but she was disappointed when her request for flexible work was turned down.
“I really loved my job. I really enjoyed working with the children and the school. But I knew I couldn’t cover what I was doing before because the role had to be full time. I knew I needed the flexibility of part-time work and work-life balance.
“I didn’t know what I was going to do, but I thought it was all happening for a reason. I saw a gap in the market for game ideas and decided to try and make a business out of it.
“That way, I would always use my passion for education and play to help parents and children,” says Ruth, who works as an education and inclusion consultant.
She spent a year developing play-based learning maps that provide ideas for activities and games for parents and professionals to do with their children, from newborns through the age of seven.
Each suggestion can be tailored for a wide range of abilities, with options to make it easier or harder so that it can be tailored to each child.
Ruth says this is the first card on the market to offer this level of inclusion and differentiation to help all parents and their children learn and play at home.
They were also designed around the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework and the national curriculum to support children’s learning and development.
Cards are available in physical and digital formats and the 1+ year set is the current bestseller. All of the activities are simple set-ups, using items parents will likely already have on hand.
“I wanted something suitable for all children because not all two or three year olds are the same. They can be at different stages of development, so I wanted to create something inclusive.
“There are a variety of activities to help with physical, social and emotional development and they also cover literacy, math, art and design, communication and language.
“It took me over a year to write all these ideas down. During confinement, every hour that I was not with my little boy, I wrote down ideas.
“There are things that I have done before with children as a teacher and things that I have done with my own little boy,” says Ruth.
She officially launched her business, My Mummy Teacher, in June with support from The Prince’s Trust and hosted a live Instagram launch party with support from Cbeebies presenter Evie Pickerill and her friend Ruth Gibbins.
Ruth was thrilled with the positive feedback she received and will soon be launching a new line of cards for ages 5+ and sensory play.
“It was incredible. A mom told me that it helped him with his sanity. She is a single mother and she is at home with her child all day. I know what it is – the days can be long and it can be difficult to entertain your child and find new ways to occupy them.
“She says she can get the maps, browse and find inspiration for an activity they can do together. I want maps rather than a book so it’s more accessible. She told me it really helped her, ”she told Weekend.
His future plans include launching a membership club later this year that will offer additional resources such as video tutorials and activity sheets as well as access to the Facebook group. Ruth also started running parent workshops in schools to show parents how to help their children learn through play at home and to help them with homework in a fun way.
From a young age, she knew she always wanted to be a teacher and said that inspiring children to learn and see the moment they got it is the best feeling in the world.
Although she no longer works at school, Ruth says she is still able to share the same passion and commitment through her learning cards.
“My mission across the company is to get all children to learn through play and my goal is to empower parents and professionals to do so.”
For more information on resources or to join the community, search @mymummyteacher on Instagram and Facebook.