In 2016, Angela craved a space within the community that brought an awareness to the importance of play and nature for the development of children. She noticed through conversations with other parents that they were uncertain about whether their children were getting enough academics through their current programs and were seeking out more opportunities.
Angela opened up a little patch of trees on a beautiful farm to welcome parents to explore how children play. Her goal was to show how play is actually the most important work that is to be done during these early years and sets the foundation for higher-level learning.
In 2017, Angela found Stephanie, a natural-born leader and preschool teacher who was looking to fulfill her passion for connecting the community with the power of nature-based play. Together, they’ve lifted Playful Garden up to an engaging program that will inspire and ignite young minds. We are thrilled to be offering our community this exciting opportunity.
For the past seven years Stephanie has enjoyed preparing inviting and challenging curriculum using nature and the natural environment as a primary participant in the learning process. Stephanie has had the pleasure of working closely with toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarteners at a Reggio inspired Preschool and Kindergarten, in Massachusetts, where she developed and led an outdoor preschool program. In addition to her time at school, Stephanie has been educating young and old in the theatre arts for over ten years.
Stephanie is deeply inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach and play-based learning in the natural world. She embraces this approach in her work and at her solar powered, carbon-neutral home in Kingston with her three children. Stephanie looks forward to discovering along side of her 5, 3, and 1 year olds each day, and is excited to do the same with Playful Garden friends!
Angela remembers as a shy child, spending her time ‘leading’ friends and her brother in a mock classroom in her garage. It was only natural that she is now a licensed K-8 educator. She holds a B.S in Elementary Education and Psychology from Keene State College. Angela has spent many years coaching and leading movement classes, with a background in competitive gymnastics and cheerleading. Angela and her husband enjoy spending their time outdoors where they encourage their three children to run barefoot, get muddy and climb the tallest trees. Angela is passionate about child development, body mechanics and environmental education, which she enjoys reading up on in her spare time. Angela loves creating beautiful spaces for children to play, discover, and explore, through the use of ordinary objects.