Rafi Reps: Jennie Monness

Posted by Megan Harper on


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Welcome to our new Rafi Reps Series! A weekly series were we featue some of our favorite customers and ask them questions about life, travel and more.

This week we have Jennie Monness the brains behind our Mo-On-The Go Kit and Founder of Union Square Plays. We sat down with Jennie to learn more about her and why she loves Rafi Nova.  

Follow her over @jenniemonness and @Unionsquareplays

"My families favorite adventures are really having no agenda and saying we’re going on an adventure… either going outside or getting in the car and seeing where it takes us."

What's Your Name? Jennie Monness

What is your social handle? @jenniemonness and @unionsquareplays

Where do you live? New York City

Tell us a little about yourself?

I'm the co-founder of Union Square Play, a parenting community and play space that helps make the early years of parenting a little bit easier, a lot more fun, and very communal. I also built a following on my personal Instagram account formerly Mo' Mommies (@JennieMonness) documenting the joys and challenges of motherhood with guidance for parents, given through my experiences with my own daughters. I'm an early childhood educator for more than 12 years, uses my personal experience of motherhood to educate and empower new parents and to share the type of information that all parents need. My methods center around respectful parenting, an approach that emphasizes empathy, autonomy, and communication starting at birth. My approach to open-ended play materials and objects encourages kids to be engaged rather than entertained, creating their own "curriculum" and learning in the most natural, innate way.
How did you learn about Rafi Nova?
Through a mutual friend reaching out (Megan) and asking if I’d be interested in a Rafi Nova collaboration.

What is your favorite Rafi Nova product?

Mo-on-the-go of course! But I also love their sherpa masks because they keep me warm and offer protection. I also love their cosmetic case that I use to keep my girls’ sunscreen in during the summer.
You're the brains behind the Mo-On-The Go. What inspired you to do this collab with Rafi Nova?
I really wanted to offer parents a jumping off point for engaging in open-ended play with their kids. When parents have these bags, they can add their own ideas to the kit with items around the house… adding straws to the play-doh, make up brushes to the water paper or even playing scavenger hunts with the silicone coasters!
What are you families favorite adventures?
My families favorite adventures are really having no agenda and saying we’re going on an adventure… either going outside or getting in the car and seeing where it takes us. Just like Reggio Emilia in terms of the philosophy that inspires play for me… I let the children lead. I may ask, what are you thinking about this morning? And if my girls say “rocks” then we’ll go on a rock hunt, or visit an exhibit with rocks (pre-covid) or we might go to Michaels to get paint and then paint rocks at home.

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  • Hi ! so glad to read this- Im a teacher and mom, I feel the same way you do. Interests and motivation! Id like to share my on toxic dye free ( uless you add food coloring) cooked playdough recipe – Its from when I worked at The Claremont School with a gifted art teacher. We mad a big batch every month, a different color, and there was plenty for all 6 students at the play table!
    Now I make it for my individual students: it can be a big mountain with stuff in it, a jungle ( add stuff) or even a snowscape and snowmen scene! It keeps over a month in tupperware. Let me know how I can send it to you, Id like to make it a PDF. The ingredient that makes it so good i so pliable is Cream of Tartar

    barbara on

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