OMGmother Heather Piper Helps Children Play to Win

We here at OMGmother were so excited that Heather Piper, aka Aunt Heather, agreed to share her OMGamazing story with us earlier this week, that we had to sit her down and talk to her some more!

The devout aunt and godmother is also an energetic marketing professional, and she recently started her own company, SpyRing, that was inspired by her OMGson Kyle!

My OMGson’s Name: Kyle Piper

I decided to start SpyRing because…
Kyle’s future is that important to me. A few years ago, Kyle’s grades dropped dramatically across the board–even in his beloved math class. First and foremost, I wanted to know the reasoning for this downward spiral and put a stop to it. Being extremely concerned over this decline was only half of my worry; the second concern was how to help Kyle turn things around. However, as Kyle’s aunt, I did not have permission to speak with his educators. Major roadblock!

Needless to say, I don’t care about obstacles and I was not going to idly stand by and allow this injustice to happen to a bright and smart little man. I wouldn’t take “I’m trying my hardest” as an excuse; I knew better and I believed in him. I tried everything from workbooks, to getting advice from teacher friends, even threatening Kyle and grounding him didn’t seem to be the answer, nor did it work.

After a trip to the Spy Museum in Washington, D.C., I developed a custom scavenger hunt to reinforce all scholastic school subjects, especially reading, which was his weakest subject. Kyle loved the game and loved the unique way he was being challenged. The next quarter, his grades began to improve. Soon I decided to modify the game and market it to help other children in a fun and interactive way. SpyRing was born!

What is SpyRing exactly?
As of now SpyRing is an interactive card game of questions and answers. However, we are now developing the SpyRing scavenger hunt, as it was originally created. Thrill of the Hunt, another division of my sister’s company The Piper Corporation, was developed based on the idea of themed scavenger hunts, for adults and children.

SpyRing and Thrill of the Hunt are just starting to gain interest and recognition. As from the beginning, Kyle remains heavily involved in the strategic planning, the decision making process, and marketing and financial efforts. His ideas and suggestions are always taken into consideration, not to mention, that’s my opportunity to teach him about starting and running a business, even as I stumble through it and learn. One child started all this! One child can make a world of difference!

Did Kyle play a part in working with your company along the way?
Throughout the process of developing the game, I tested Kyle’s knowledge on ALL the information. Not only was this a fun experience but also Kyle was part of something potentially bigger. He knew it and he loved every step of the way. This not only helped to create SpyRing, but it helped to strengthen our bond.

Kyle, the SpyRing ambassador

What advice would you give to uncles, aunts, godparents out there who would like to plan fun activities with their OMGchildren?
Turn any activity or chore into a fun experience. It never has to be costly, nor does it need to consume large amounts of time. Even something as simple as cleaning out a closet and letting the OMGchild help can be fun. Sharing stories associated to the specific items really captures the child’s attention and reinforces your bond. I know cleaning together doesn’t sound like fun, but I believe the children feel more a part of the family, and they really enjoy hearing the stores and seeing what kind of treasures can be uncovered with simple actions such as this one.

Everything I do involves Kyle, not because I make him or expect him to follow my lead, but because he really wants to help and be a part of what I’m doing. My theory is a happy child is one who is fulfilled with learning and the experiences of togetherness. Kyle certainly fits this bill.

Thank you, Aunt Heather, for your great advice!

For more information on Aunt Heather Piper, check out this site.

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