Give to the KCDC

A Play Haven

The sub-title of the K-CDC has always been “A Play Haven.”  We have put it on our pamphlets and our t-shirts and anything else we share. I thought it was somewhat of an original thought, but several years ago when I went to re-read Bev Bos and Jenny Chapman’s “Tumbling Over the Edge,” there is was:

“Belonging for young children is being in a place where they feel comfortable enough to play without having to look over their shoulders seeking approval – or dodging disapproval – to explore without fear, to redefine their space and to use materials found around them to create for themselves a sense of order, pattern, and structure. In a place of belonging, a haven, children have people who know without words when they need to be held, that they need to be listened to, cared for, and loved unconditionally. Children know when they are accepted and when their play needs are understood. And certainly when they are not.”

When we moved to our current location almost exactly 8 years ago, I put a sign in the front door that said “A Play Haven.” Recently I remade the sign and added some text to welcome those who enter. I could cover the walls with all the important messages about how vital a sense of belonging and play is for young children, but for now , this is what the new sign says:

A haven,
a safe space.
Here children are supported in play, that most important element of true learning.

Here it is safe to run, climb, mix, paint, experience emotions, talk, create, problem solve, experiment, dig, express yourself, and so much more.

Here is a space where childhood is celebrated, appreciated, and respected,
with all its joys, sorrows, and messiness.

Welcome!

I printed it off, and now as I read it, I think there isn’t enough here. However, one of my areas of weakness is that I want something to be just right before I write it or post it or display it. The problem with that approach is that I don’t share enough of my experiences with young kids, so here is the imperfect “welcome” the K-CDC.

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