Genius of Play Ambassadors Spotlight: 7 Days of Play’s Michelle Savett
February 23, 2021 | Through her social media accounts and website, Michelle Savett, creator of 7 Days of Play and mom of three, offers daily play ideas for children of all ages. From toddler games that promote fine motor skill development to hands-on experiment that introduce early chemistry concepts, each activity focuses on integrating play into learning. Toy News Tuesday editors discuss with Savett, as a Play Ambassador for The Toy Association’s Genius of Play initiative, how important play is to her work and her own family’s approach to learning.
Q1: How did you get your start in the toy industry?
Savett: Almost two years ago, I started sharing playful learning activities on @7daysofplay on Instagram. I was inspired to start my own social media account after overhearing my kids’ librarian say she had an account with thousands of followers. I was already creating activities with my kids and photographing them, and I hoped by sharing my ideas and photos I may inspire other people to play. Since then, I have built up an audience of over 1.5 million followers across social media, worked with dozens of brands, and launched a website.
Q2: Why was it important to you to become a Genius of Play Ambassador and what does play mean to you?
Savett: Play is everything to my family! Whether through pure unstructured play or adult-directed playful learning experiences, I find my kids are most happy and engaged when they are playing. Unstructured play allows children to tap into their imagination in the most magical way, and yet at the same time, they go head-to-head with real world problems and learn how to solve them independently. I am all about child-led play, but we also have fun with adult-directed activities that are hands-on opportunities (instead of just listening or completing worksheets).
Q3: What is your favorite toy and/or play memory?
Savett: I have fond memories of imaginative play such as setting up plastic chairs back-to-back to make a “school bus” and picking up my stuffed animals one at a time. Playing house with my next-door neighbors was another regular activity during my childhood. I can’t say I have one particular favorite childhood toy, but I do have wonderful memories of visiting Toys“R”Us with my family. I remember thinking how big and magical that place was!
Q4: Play benefits our emotional and physical wellbeing at any age, so what steps have you taken to make play a part of your daily routine both in and outside of work? Any go-to activities?
Savett: 7 Days of Play has allowed me to think about play all day. From coming up with new ideas to share with my children and my audience, as well as searching for the best toys to complement our activities. When I am with my children, I do my best to get fully absorbed in their world of play. The longest lasting activities I encounter are sensory based. A little water can go a long way, and they love science experiments that they can be hands-on with.
This interview is part of an ongoing series that spotlights the members of The Genius of Play Ambassadors program, who serve as play thought leaders within their own professional networks as well as key supporter and spokespersons for ongoing Genius of Play initiatives.
Michelle Savett is the owner and founder of 7 Days of Play, where she offers a wide array of play ideas based on subject and age, free printable activities, and gift guides for all ages. To learn more, visit 7daysofplay.com or follow 7 Days of Play on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube.