We believe in real play, open-ended, self directed play, initiated by the child in which they draw from their own imagination and discover for themselves who they are. We believe that childhood should be filled with imagination, wonder and joy!
Have you ever considered that “wonder” is a sense as much as seeing, smelling or hearing. Do you remember a moment of wonder as a child? Perhaps felt strongly the night before Christmas, or in a special place you played in nature? Wonder doesn’t seem to be much spoken of in today’s world, but wonder is a precious part of what makes us human. Sometimes we see wonder open up in an adult when they step into our physical store – it’s a beautiful experience to watch! We all still have that inner child with in us, a place of purity and joy. Wonder is our ability to see beauty, in nature and in each other; it’s known by the scientist who discovers new secrets through her microscope; it’s experienced by the poets and artists who find words, sounds and colours for it; it’s felt when we look up at the stars or hold a new born baby in our arms.
In imaginative play, wonder is a sense that is strongly developed and nourished, and one that can lead us as adults to think creatively, to meet the world and others with respect, and to know ourselves more fully through reflection and simply “being”.
Imaginative play, the cornerstone of childhood, has slowly been disappearing in modern times as our lives get faster and less time seems available for children just to “be”. Precious time spent outside playing hide and seek, collecting treasures from nature, or spending hours inside immersed in worlds of make believe, are becoming few and far between for many children.
Play in which children are left to discover for themselves (not directed by adults, and unpolluted by television or social media), forms many important foundations for life. Through imaginative play children explore roles, replay relationships and come to an understanding of their social world; they express their inner experiences, feelings and work through trauma; they explore the world and the environment and their place in it; and they begin to form mental pictures and concepts.
Allowing your child to time and space to explore unhindered through play, without complicated set ups or expectations, is one of the greatest gifts you can give them.
— Melissa x
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