About Me




Hi and Welcome to Proactive Play!

I’m Pavani and a mother of two beautiful children, Hari and Raman.

The reason I started on a blog is because I want and can feel comfortable with my way of seeing things (or even saying things) and hopefully be understood, and not be too worried about how I am perceived. Perhaps that is why I find it difficult to write a post About Me.

Why this subject? Well it began one day when I had an embarrassing episode trying to park in a busy shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur. It took me about 10 minutes (but felt like hours) and I managed it terribly. I came out of the car soaked in sweat and walked away fast before anyone could remember my face. Too late, a lady in a car gave me a stare that was enough to make me investigate why I found it difficult to park despite the fact that I have been driving for years.

I have always heard that women fare a little poorer when it come to spatial skills. But is it all down to wiring in the brain or is it something, which can be learned? I was actually more concerned for my 3-year-old girl than for my parking abilities.

So I ventured into the world of researching scientific papers from various fields and by behavioural psychologist, neuropsychologists, educationists and many others who have a science based answers to the questions I have.

My ability in searching pertinent information comes from years of postgraduate experience in my twenties. I have a Masters in Turbomachinery from the University of Durham (UK) and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Birmingham (UK). I am indebted to both Rolls Royce and Unilever for the scholarships that funded my education me through those years.


In my youth I was a competitive chess player from the age of 8 and was the Under-20 schoolgirl champion from 12 to 15 years of age. I have also participated in several international tournaments. These experiences really helped me understand the importance of knowing the basics well in order to become really good at something. It is partly why I want to provide my children a foundation as well as possible to help them in what ever they decide to do. My experiences also helped me see the importance of learning through fun play more than just strict discipline.

Many things transpired during my years in Birmingham. I firstly came across the Hare Krishnas philosophy, which helped me answer many questions I had been asking and which helped in many aspects of my life. Since then I continue to incorporate the teachings into my life as much as possible. It helped me respect other belief systems by understanding their goals and practice. I also partook the initiation ceremony, one that can be likened to the Bar Mitwah ceremony of the Jews and was given the name Pavani Devi. So while many may know me by this name, there are others prior to this event in my life would know me as Punitha (short for Punithavathy).


Birmingham is also where I met Andrew, the man who loved me unconditionally and whom I am married after completing my doctorate and working briefly in Kuala Lumpur. We got married in Feb 2006 and now have 2 beautiful children. The first is a girl and the second, a boy. For the sake of this website I refer to them as Hari and Raman respectively.

While studying in Birmingham I worked part-time with the Birmingham City Council and Mentoring consortium for 2 years while I was pursuing my doctorate. One part of my job was to organise and oversee activities for the local Hindu youths while the other was to guide and advice younger students who were having difficulty with both their schoolwork and difficult family situations. The experience with working with these young children had a profound and lasting effect on me.

It is a combination of these events in Birmingham that lead me to a change in the course of my life. I knew I wanted to work with children and to help if possible. As a result, I went to study Psychology in Trinity College Dublin.

I am at the moment juggling my role as a wife, mom, and the author of this website. I hope the information and ideas to learn maths and developing children’s spatial skills through childish playful activities on this website will be of some help to parents and children, especially in their formative years.

Please feel free to browse, offer comments and suggestions. Alternatively, you could subscribe to the Facebook Proactive Play Page for updates on this website.

Thank you for stopping by!




For Kids

Some Pinwheel Fun!

Making pinwheels is a simple, colourful, and creative craft that can easily be adapted for use with all age groups. Depending on the age of the child it can be used to demonstrate rotational symmetry and even discuss about how it is used to harness wind energy. To make pinwheels, I looked for ideas and […]

| August 10, 2013 | 1 Comment

Guided Rotation Activity

While we are still on the path to acquiring some experience in mental rotation skills, this activity was designed to help visualise the orientation of a 2 dimensional object as it rotates around a fixed axis. The idea of this activity is to for Hari to figure out where the craft foam shapes should be […]

| August 7, 2013 | 0 Comments

Learning Rotation with Pizza Making Activity

We continue learning the concept of rotation, this time whilst making pizza! The idea was for Hari to place the pizza topping for the rest of the pizza slices by using an example that would be done for her. She is to place the toppings in the other slices in the same positioning as the […]

| August 3, 2013 | 1 Comment

Introducing Rotation with Hand and Sponge Painting

The aim of this activity is to introduce the idea of rotation. That is, how an image would appear to look like if it was to rotate around an axis or centre. I drew 2 circles, one bigger than the other and showed Hari where the centre point is. Hari first sponge painted the car […]

| July 30, 2013 | 0 Comments

Shapes in Octopus’s Garden

Hari had a great time painting a large piece of bubble wrap with paints of various paints. She had fun creating different shades of blue, green, white and black and painting the bubble wrap with brush and hands. Once it was dried with the help of a hair dryer, Hari got started on the sea […]

| July 28, 2013 | 0 Comments


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