Open Spaces are Learning Places
The values we are built on...

  • Simplicity:  Play is in the child not the toy; the more simple items we have to play with, the more we can imagine and create on our own building our brains and our bodies.  Too much, too soon, too many distracts from learning and limits our potential.  Simplicity means easy to understand and do – all activities provided can be replicated anywhere with little to no preparation or special items needed; plain, natural, easy to understand.
  • Experiential, Place-Based, Play-Based Learning: all outside, all seasons, all senses, joyful and inquisitive learning.
  • Reciprocity: exchanging ourselves with the Earth for mutual benefit; from Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer “Gift of Strawberries” pages 22-32: “the essence of a gift economy is, at its root, reciprocity.” “Living in a world made of gifts” 
  • 4 C’s of Mental Health
    • Care: Movement and Exercise, Adequate Sleep, Good Nutrition, Emotional Health, Shelter, Safety
    • Connection: to self, to others, to the Earth
    • Competence: skills to thrive in our world
    • Contribution: giving to our communities

Movement: the U.S. is a largely sedentary culture and that is to our detriment.  Having classes outside in a very natural environment encourages us to move in more varied ways – standing up, sitting down, balancing on uneven terrain, stepping on rocks and sticks and holes, bending, twisting, etc.  Movement builds our bodies and brains.

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As an avid reader, these are a few books that were Most Inspiring Reads and helped shape the philosophy and values of Open Spaces LLC:

  • The Sense of Wonder by Rachel Carson
  • How to Raise a Wild Child by Scott D Sampson
  • Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv
  • Grow Wild by Katie Bowman
  • Children’s Lively Minds: Schema Theory Made Visible by Deb Curtis and Nadia Jaboneta
  • Loose Parts 2: Inspiring Infants and Toddlers by Lisa Daly and Miriam Beloglovsky
  • Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer
  • Restoring the Kinship Worldview: Indigenous Voices Introduce 28 Precepts for Rebalancing Life on Planet Earth by Wahinkpe Topa (Four Arrows) and Darcia Narvaez
  • Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative by Florence Williams
  • The Healthy Deviant by Pilar Gerasimo
  • Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline by Becky A Bailey
  • Einstein Never Used Flash Cards by Kathy Hirsh-Pasek and Roberta M Golinkoff
  • all works by Jean Illsley Clarke
  • Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne
  • Positive Discipline by Jane Nelsen
  • Quiet by Susan Cain
  • The Green Boat by Mary Pipher
  • Affluence Without Abundance: What We Can Learn from the World’s Most Successful Civilisation by James Suzman
  • Nature Preschools and Forest Kindergartens by David Sobel
  • Biophilia by Edward Wilson
  • A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold
  • Walden by Henry David Thoreau
  • Trace by Lauret Savoy
  • Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver
  • The Hungry Mind: The Origins of Curiosity in Childhood by Susan Engel
  • The Hundred Languages of Children: The Reggio Emilia Experience in Transformation by Carolyn Edwards and Lella Gandini
  • everything by Bev Bos
  • Caring for Infants with Respect by Magda Gerber
  • Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic 2nd Edition by John De Graaf, David Wann and Thomas Naylor