How Play Can Support Challenging Behaviors [Webinar]

In this webinar, we welcomed Renee Pena Lopez, Early Childhood Intervention Specialist, The Magic of Littles. Renee dove into the importance of play and how to support children with their behavior as they learn to interact with their peers. Renee also gave some great tips on how to make time your friend and ways to support a growth mindset in young children.

🎤Our Special Guest!

Renee Pena Lopez, Early Childhood Intervention Specialist, The Magic of Littles

Renee Pena Lopez is an Early Childhood Intervention Specialist and a proud Native New Yorker. She is a licensed special education early childhood teacher who has a passion for quirky learners such as herself. Renee attended Bard College for her B.A. in Dance and Integrated Arts (Video and Arts Education). While on her journey, she fell in love with Early Childhood working at an enrichment school, where the director took a chance on her and suggested she go into the field.  She decided to attend Mercy College for (Birth-6th with Student with Disabilities). Now, Renee pulls from her creative background in dance and her vast experience in an array of classrooms from museums to progressive spaces to play-based models. She is also a Mama of a quirky and lovely 5 year old who works with teachers of Littles to help them make sense of their Littles play by finding the magic that makes them shine. Together, we Rethink Interventions! You can find her at or. @themagicoflittles on IG.

🧪Key Learning Outcomes From Renee

  • Children are easily overwhelmed, so take a moment to think about what you are asking when interrupting play. 
  • Play is not linear for children 
  • Take time to connect with children; this can be done through getting down to their level and playing with them. 
  • Helping to promote a growth mindset in young children is not easy; use language as support. 
  • Fair is not what is now equal but what is needed, be transparent with children on what they need.


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Ria Reive

Ria Reive in the Community Ambassador at HiMama. Prior to starting at HiMama, Ria was an Early Childhood Educator and worked 6 years in the classroom. She taught all ages but mainly preschoolers. Ria lives in Toronto with her husband. In her spare time, she enjoys time with her niece and nephew and being on the water.