It's been about a week since Play Haven opened, and already the response has been amazing! Thank you all again for your support and joining us. Since many have asked, I just wanted to share a bit more about how we came to be.
Creating Play Haven was a very personal process for me. As a mother of two young children and a pre-school teacher, I wanted to create a space where my children were inspired and had fun, and also other children in the community. Early on I realized that creating a space for mixed-age ranges was going to be a challenge and require a lot of thoughtful planning, but in the end it was well worth the effort.
When I began the design process, I didn’t immediately look through children’s catalogs or websites. My goal was to create a truly open-ended environment where imagination had no limits. As the space took form, I continually asked myself “What inspires me? What excites me? What in the world brings me joy?” From there, I leaned on my years of pre-school teaching experience to translate my thoughts for children.
During my time as a pre-school teacher, I was inspired by an Italian curriculum, the Reggio Emilia approach. One of its guiding principles is that the environment acts as the “third teacher” (the first two being the children and teachers). The placement of furniture, toys and materials in the environment is always very thoughtful and purposeful. Instead of simply placing paper on a shelf, I considered how the children would see the paper and asked myself, “How could this be displayed to be inviting for children to use?” I posed these types of questions with each and every material and toy in our space.
The environment at Play Haven is designed to be warm, cozy, inviting, and inspiring. It will continually evolve and be refreshed, but will always remain thoughtful and purposeful. I hope that you experience this when visiting Play Haven and that your child too will feel inspired by the space.
Hope to see you again soon!
P.S. We'd love to hear from you!
If you have any feedback on how we can improve Play Haven, we would LOVE to hear from you. Simply send us an email or leave a comment below.