At the Learnary, we love all ages doing things together, and sometimes we want to do slightly different things, but still be together. That’s what Kidspace is all about. It’s a facilitated area (not registered childcare) open to kids aged two to twelve, when their adults are taking classes.
Kidspace is a place your kids want to be. We have an amazingly fantastic active play space, great books, lots of awesome things to do and play, and a stupendous facilitator. For the majority of Learnary events, the kidspace is in the back part of the room where the adult activity is happening. This allows all family members to check in with one another as needed, and deepens the feeling of connection between adults and young people. We can also bring in food for the kids when you order ahead of time.
What we do
At the beginning of each time together, the kidspace participants and Sam (our stupendous facilitator) work out what activities will be sponsored (facilitated) and which kids can do on their own. We have a brief talk about how we are going to take care of one another, the space, and ourselves. Then we play: sometimes together, sometimes by ourselves, usually a little bit of both. Towards the end of the night, we clean up and have some quiet time while the adults finish up. The participants are supported by Sam to work things out, and to make collective as well as individual decisions about their time in Kidspace.
Some things you should know
Participants (and their adults) are expected to:
- Be willing to work things out when asked.
- Participate in clean up.
- Be able to toilet themselves, or get a parent’s support.
- Have a parent on site at all times.
- Inform facilitators of any allergies, or additional information we should know.
- Let us know ahead of time if you would like food brought in for your young person.
- Have a consistent adult present at all times.
- Understand basic English and simple instructions.
- Check in with the facilitator upon arrival and departure.
- Sign an ‘Assumption of Inherent Risks and Consent’ form
The heart of Sam’s work focuses on engaged, respectful relationships between adults and young people. She has over twenty years experience working in alternative education environments, with a specialty in free schooling. She has a masters degree in Educational Studies, with a focus on student/teacher relationships and democratic education. She has a fifteen year mentorship with Helen Hughes, founder of Windsor House and co-founder of The Learnary. Young people find Sam someone they enjoy, feel safe with, and want to be around.
Last year, Sam and I spent a delightful time with a group of 5 four-year-olds…Sam’s natural ability to listen to what children are saying and feeling, combined with her pleasure in researching and thinking things through, make her a superb mentor for young people. Although Sam is very safety conscious, she is also lots of fun, and that year was one of the most enjoyable times of my life. (Helen Hughes)
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