Testimonials

Real Kids, Real Play has received outstanding feedback from parents, caregivers and multiple professionals, including kindergarten teachers, ECEC educators, paediatric speech pathologists and occupational therapists since its release earlier in 2018.

The below is an example of the feedback received. 

Real Kids, Real Play is a very practical and creative book packed with simple hands-on play activities in one book. As a kindergarten teacher of 20 years, it is rare to find a book full of age-appropriate and meaningful educational play-based activities which can be incorporated at home or in a kindergarten or child-care environment.

During the year, I have scaffolded many children’s interests with activities from the book. Children have had opportunities to explore, experiment, imagine and create through their open-ended and hands-on play. Many children spent several sessions exploring and extending ideas from the book, such as the car ramp and the water play.   

Our book has been placed in our library as a resource and inspiration for parents and educators. I recommend every child care and kindergarten environment have a copy of Alice Zsembery’s Real Kids, Real Play“. 

– Tammy, Kindergarten Teacher and Educational Leader


Real Kids, Real Play can only be described as a life saver. As a Mother, and a teacher of fifteen years, we often have a whole lot of ideas for craft and play swimming around in our heads. We know our homes are packed with things that kids can play with, but the problem is, we can never seem to think of things to do, when our kids use the dreaded phrase ‘I’m bored’.  This book is fool proof.

Kids can’t read yet? Doesn’t matter. The activities are presented as visual procedural texts with step by step instructions. Ready-made ideas for hours of fun, using things you’ve got literally laying around your home.

I’ve recommended this book to so many Mums and teachers, I’ve lost count. The perfect gift to any new Mum, or classroom teacher!”

-Kate , Deputy Principal and Learning and Teaching Leader, Primary Years


“Every now and again I have a book come across my desk, which has been written by a person full of passion and wisdom, that needs to be found!Real Kids, Real Play is one such book.

Alice Zsembery shares my passion for play and play in the home and surrounds that does not require buying endless toys! This book is packed full of engaging activities that can happen using household items – from scarfs, socks, milk containers, plastic buckets, toilet rolls, post it notes … just to name a few!!

This is a fabulous book for parents, grandparents and also ECEC educators looking for fresh ideas!!”

– Maggie Dent, Australian Parenting Author and Educator


I am writing to both thank you and congratulate you on your wonderful book Real Kids, Real Play. What an incredible resource and I am so pleased to have found such a user friendly book that I can use on a daily basis.
I am a Speech Pathologist working in Melbourne; I run a private practice with a colleague (who is an Occupational Therapist), as well as working at a large children’s hospital.

I’ve been a speech pathologist for almost 15 years and I now mainly work with children with disabilities, and often with families who are struggling financially or who are overwhelmed with having a child who is not doing the things they expected them to do. I came across your wonderful book via a friend who forwarded me one of your mum hacks on Instagram, so I bought it for myself and then shared it with my business partner. We both agreed it is fabulous and so helpful for the families we see. We now have a copy each that we take when visiting families in their homes.

I’m often telling parents to not spend money on toys, and in the world of disability there are a million products that promise a million things, but actually the best toy is mum and dad (or other family members)! The research in my field and evidence states that speech “therapy” needs to be play based, and when that play is simple and fun, it ticks all my boxes!
A number of the families I work with have English as a second language, or have low literacy levels.

The layout of your book makes it accessible for these families, and by having such clear pictures we can easily re-create play activities without needing to read the words.

Thank you so much for putting the time and effort into such a magnificent resource. I’ll be continuing to recommend it to colleagues, and to use it with the families I work with.

– Sarah, Melbourne Speech Pathologist


“As a parent and a primary teacher, I find that sometimes I dance in and out of both roles as I navigate my way through the wonderful journey of motherhood. I read books, listen to podcasts, engage in blogs but nothing has been quite authentic as the pages of pure magic in this book; I’m referring to Real Kids. Real Play.

Alice Zsembery has so thoughtfully and passionately put her heart, soul and innovative ideas into this book; a book that can be passed onto aunties, uncles, grandparents and friend upon friend. It can be passed down through generations as the timeless activities focus on good old fashioned play and allowing our children to use their imagination to engage and create WITHOUT the need to buy a single toy!

The activities in this book become memories with your children, they encourage play and quality time as a family. If you have to buy just one present for a mum-­to-­be, buy this and give a gift of love and thought that will provide lasting memories.”

– Olivia, Mother of 3 pre-schoolers and Primary School Teacher


I’m constantly trying to think of new and fun ways to entertain my energetic 4 year old boy at home (especially when the weather outside is bad) and I like to avoid, wherever possible, just plonking him in front of the tv or buying yet another toy or game.

Sometimes, the answer is right there under our noses, but as adults, we often forget how to use our imagination and play as kids, because it was SO long ago when we did that for ourselves.

This book is amazing as pointing out how we can use everyday house hold items to invent quick, easy and fun games at home. An absolute gem of a book that is wonderfully old school!

– Megan Gale, Mother (Vic


My friend gave me your book and I just wanted to tell you how amazing I think it is.
We live in London so there are many rainy days at the moment. We have recommended the book to lots of people and I see it is also sold(out) in Foyle’s.

– Lavinia, Mother (UK)


Loving the Real kids Real Play book especially the experimental chapter. A 4 year old with plenty of energy is sometimes hard to entertain on a tight budget. Love that you can use stuff from home and I don’t need to go out of my way to buy anything.

Great idea having photos with the descriptions as I am not a creative person normally. My son is loving the variety of activities.

– Kaitlin, Mother (Vic)


I think the book is awesome and know that my friend with the 4 month old was just so delighted to get such a unique book. She flicked through it while I was there and last week when I minded her little-one, the book was obviously being read (in preparation) as it was on her coffee table for easy access.

So many clever and simple/quick ideas. I thought I was creative when my kids were little but you’ve taken it to a whole new level!

– Nina, Mother (Vic)


Your book is awesome! I have been loving the ideas and particularly love how instantly do-able they are. I don’t need to go to the shops to get items but can use what I have already. The setup is often super quick as well for lots of entertaining time. Thank you!

– Annabel, Mother (Vic)


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