Creating Little Happy Learners with Sophie David

Written by

Amy Salter

Published on

September 20, 2023
Time to read: 4 minutes

Little Happy Learners was founded by Sophie David, an ex primary school teacher and Early Years Foundation Stage specialist.

Using her expertise in education, Sophie launched Little Happy Learners in 2019. She now has over 170k followers on her Instagram page, a website, sell-out online courses, and a successful book. Her business aims to share fun, exciting, and simple activities that can help children play and learn at home.

At Hook, we were lucky enough to speak to Sophie to find out more about the inspiration and success behind her business.

Can you tell us in your own words what Little Happy Learners does?

Little Happy Learners is a platform for parents and educators of children aged 0-6.  It acts as a toolkit for supporting children’s development at home and in early years settings.

Little Happy Learners sets out to create learning opportunities in fun and engaging ways to instil a love of learning for all.

What inspired you to create the page?

Having had a career in teaching and then becoming a mum, I needed a creative outlet and also wanted to fill my days with different experiences for my children. The two went hand in hand as I began creating activities with a learning focus and sharing them on Instagram.

Where do you get your ideas from? And what do you have to consider when creating activities?

The ideas come from my experience as an EYFS teacher, my desire to learn from other educators and the world of social media. Those that inspire are easily inspired. I get so much inspiration from people, books, and my own children.

By following my children’s interests, we are never at a loss of things to make, create and learn from. By following my children’s interests, we are never at a loss of things to make, create and learn from.

How do you keep up with current trends in education? And how do you incorporate these into your work?

It’s hard to stay ‘up to date’ or ‘on trend’ when working with children. To be a good educator, the child is always at the heart of what you teach. So, if we follow the interests and needs of our children then it’s hard to stay up to date with trends.

Over my time on social media, I have changed the way I share content. When I began this journey, static images were very popular but in recent years videos and reels have a much higher reach. I’ve had to learn a lot along the way.

Your page has massive reach. Was this something you expected when you started your page?

Absolutely not! I thought perhaps we’d get a few hundred people, friends of friends etc but I never expected people to follow along with and engage as they do. It’s amazing really.

Has Little Happy Learners changed and evolved over the years?

Yes, it’s forever evolving alongside my children and myself as parent. At the heart of little happy learners is a family. Families are forever evolving and changing.

When my children were all very young, our days were filled with homemade crafts, sensory activities and cardboard creations. Now that two of my children are school age, our days are filled with phonics, early reading, counting in 2’s and tying shoelaces (with a sprinkle of toddler activities here and there).

Our moments of connection and time together are more important than ever, so instead of an activity we often like to cook/ bake together. So, in recent months there’s been a shift in what we are sharing, and we have adopted more of a Montessori way of educating.

Our moments of connection and time together are more important than ever

What’s next for Little Happy Learners?

Our dream as Little Happy Learners remains the same as always. To continue to inspire a love of learning in others. A love of learning together and a desire to find moments of connection with each other.

We hope to write more books and support the EYFS community in ensuring that children are being given access to fun learning experiences!

How can people interested in setting up play based learning at home find your ideas?

You can find lots of ideas on my Instagram @littlehappylearners 

Activities organised by age on my website www.littlehappylearners.co.uk

And 60 engaging activities in my book How to create Little Happy Learners

What tips would you give someone trying to set up play based learning activities at home?

My 5 top tips are:

  1. Choose the right moment. Do not try an activity when your child is tired or hungry!
  2. If it’s a messy activity, pre-run a bath or have a soapy bowl ready to clean up straight away.
  3. Lower your expectations – you’re rarely going to get an activity that your child will sit at for hours on end. Remember the average 4 year old has an attention span of 5-10minutes.
  4. Dedicate this time to your child. Everything else can wait, put your phone away and really connect with your child and the activity for at least 5 minutes.
  5. Finally, join in! Try to engage in the activity too… You’ll find you will get much more engagement from your child if you’re enjoying it too.

A huge thank you to Sophie for speaking with us about Little Happy Learners! 

If you enjoyed this read, you might want to check out the rest of Hook’s Creator Conversation series . We’ve recently chatted with Bev McGarey, the founder of Woodland Mindfulness, about supporting adults and young people with their mental health through nature, creativity, meditation and mindfulness. Have a read!

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