IT MIGHT GET MESSY
In our efforts to “get ahead” we as a society have increasingly taken play out of education. Why? Perhaps it is because our education system was developed in the industrial age to create a literate population who could follow directions. Perhaps it is because we have not found a way to measure the outcomes without a test, or perhaps it is because play is messy..both literally and figuratively.
In a world that is increasingly technology driven, with information just a click away, 21st century learners must be able to think critically and creatively. Making connections and synthesizing information will be key to academic and future success. Fostering creativity is no longer enrichment to learning – it is where critical connections, innovation, and meaningful inspiration are developed. PLAY is where this happens…but play is messy. Will you join me in embracing the mess?
Since 2001, I have been the owner of Barron Park Preschool in Palo Alto. I work both in and out of the classroom and have an in-depth understanding of the ways in which children perceive and interact with their world. I use my experiences and education to help Early Childhood Educators tap in to their creativity to bring forth inspired, meaningful, and emergent curriculum. I'm an advocate for keeping play in childhood.
GUIDANCE & INSPIRATION
I specialize in communicating the value of creativity and play in peoples' lives – both for adults and children. Below are some current topics I am offering.
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND WORKSHOPS FOR EDUCATORS
It Might Get Messy–Supporting Creativity and Creative Thinking in Children and the Adults Who Serve Them Through Play
We know that children learn best through play and experience and access to the creative self in their early years, more so than at any other time in their lives. Helping children to recognize and become acquainted with the many facets of creative expression can be an amazing experience for the early childhood educator as well.
In this workshop participants will learn to adapt early childhood environments to support play and creativity. Educators will become familiar with creative behaviors and biases we may have about those behaviors as they gain skills to support creativity, creative thinking, and creative problem solving in their practice.
Workshop participants will be invited to provide open-ended and engaging activities for young children that foster creativity and creative thinking. Participants will also be challenged to explore their own creativity and deepen their creative processes.
Play it Forward
It is widely accepted that play is critical for healthy development. Children learn best through play, yet many programs struggle with defending this practice. Increasing pressure for academics to be introduced at younger and younger ages, has many educators feeling the tension to compromise best practices. Understanding current research, having skills for communicating its importance, and the conviction to implement is key. Participants will leave with tools to communicate the importance of keeping play in early learning environments while being encouraged to make learning and development that happens through play visible and understandable. Participants will gain strategies for promoting play in their practice.
Save the Gingerbread Man
In this workshop, participants will be exposed to Design Thinking and its use in ECE. I provide hands-on experience solving design challenges, engaging participants in brainstorming, ideation, prototyping, testing prototypes, and reviewing the learning outcomes. Participants will be given ideas to foster and spark their own creativity and inspiration.
Making Learning Visible
It is widely accepted in the Early Childhood Education field that children learn best through play, yet many programs struggle with defending this practice. Understanding current research, having skills for communicating it’s importance, as well as the conviction to implement is key. This interactive workshop will help participants discover how to communicate the valuable outcomes that happen when children are allowed the freedom to direct their own learning through play. Participants will learn how to make documentation and displays that will make learning visible to children, parents, visitors and other educators.
Play-Based Emergent Curriculum
Research supports that children learn best through self directed play. In this workshop participants will become reacquainted with the values of play, and play-based early childhood education. Participants will gain a deeper understanding of the emergent curriculum approach by practicing observation and learning strategies for scaffolding or supporting children’s emerging interests in the classroom. Discover how emergent curriculum is meaningful and encouraging to the children and the adults in your school community.
The Positive Approach
Many educators struggle to find effective tools to address difficult behaviors in the classroom. In this workshop, participants will be introduced to a positive approach that can change the way an adult thinks about a child’s challenging behaviors, while learning effective tools to use right away.
Participants will be exposed to Adlerian Theory and how it may be applied in our work with young children. Participants will gain an understanding how our perceptions and actions invite behaviors from others.
Participants will learn why social emotional learning is crucial for children (and adults) in ECE settings, and will be encouraged to provide an environment for children that recognizes, supports, and fosters social emotional development.
HELPING PARENTS EMBRACE LIFE'S CHALLENGES
Positive Discipline Parent Coaching
Positive Discipline can help parents get to the core of a child’s behavior and increase peace in the family environment. Participants will learn non-punitive methods that incorporate kindness and firmness into parenting while practicing tools that can change the way a parent thinks about a child’s challenging behaviors. Parenting workshop series are facilitated in a supportive, interactive group setting and can be done over the course of five weekly sessions or one day retreats.
The Value of Play in Your Child's Development
In a culture that is increasingly focused on academics in early learning. Parents and caregivers may not have a deep understanding of why and how play is important in their child’s development. In this talk, I provide real life examples of what play looks like, what children learn through play, and why play is the best way children learn. Play has value beyond early academic benefits. Play is fun. Play is life affirming. Play is a legitimate right of childhood and…play must be protected!
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING
“Kim, you have been the most interesting workshop I have taken in a long time. I agree with all the ideas you presented tonight. thank you for sharing it all with us.”
Pia K, Teacher
“The workshop changed my whole thought process on how to use materials...great ideas! We are really focusing on more open-ended process based art.”
Margo K, Director
Mountain View CA
“Using design thinking with kids encourages creativity and problem solving as a group. Kim provided a frame work to better explain the learning process."
Maureen L, Teacher
Palo Alto CA
“We will be implementing design challenges into our activities. We are giving children more opportunities to explore and learn from mistakes.”
Carol S, Site Supervisor
San Mateo CA
“Will use Immediately in our conversations and explanations, and in social media campaign about play.”
Kathleen, Program Director
Thank you so much for all the great work you do. You are awesome. I love your energy and great voice. Thank so much”
Myra, Child Care Provider
RECENT PRESENTATIONS & WORKSHOPS
I lead workshops, professional development, parent education events, and give presentations on the importance of play, creativity and emergent curriculum. I present both locally and nationally, and am a certified Positive Discipline Parent and Classroom Educator.
2023 International Play Association World Conference, Glasgow, Scotland, UK 2023 Region 9 Early Childhood STEM Conference, San Jose, CA 2023 CAEYC Conference, Santa Clara, CA 2022 International Play Association USA Conference, San Antonio, TX 2022 CAEYC Conference Pasadena, CA 2022 NAEYC Professional Learning Institute, Cleveland, OH 2022 Region 9 Early Head Start Conference, Las Vegas, NV 2022 Every Child California Fall TA Conference, Long Beach, CA 2022 CQEL Fall Conference (online) 2021 NAEYC National Conference (online) 2021 Early Childhood STEM Institute (online) 2021 Every Child California, Fall TA Conference (online) 2021 Region 9 Head Start Conference (online) 2020 CAAEYC Conference (online) 2020 NAEYC National Conference (online) 2020 CAAEYC conference (online) 2020 Region 9 Head Start Conference (online) 2020 Academy for Teaches of Young Children, El Paso, TX (online) 2020, Los Niños Young Child Expo and Conference (online) 2019 NAEYC Professional Learning Institute 2019 NAEYC National Conference, Nashville, TN 2019 NAEYC Professional Learning Institute, Long Beach, CA 2019 PACE Annual Conference, Redwood City, CA 2019 CAAEYC Conference, Santa Clara, CA 2018 Keynote for Child Care Quality Initiatives Conference, San Francisco, CA 2018 Keynote for “The Heart of Play” Conference, Hayward, CA 2018 Workshop for CCDAA Fall Technical Conference, Sacramento, CA 2018 Workshop for Foothill College “Leading with Intent”, Sunnyvale, CA 2018 CAAEYC Conference Workshop, Pasadena, CA 2017 CCDAA Fall Technical Conference, Sacramento, CA 2017 Painting the Future Conference, Los Altos, CA 2016 CAAEYC Conference Workshop, Ontario, CA 2015 NAEYC Conference Workshop, Orlando, FL
STAFF DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOPS
2023 It Might Get Messy, Detroit, MI (online) 2023 Play It Forward, San Mateo, CA 2022 Play It Forward, Sacramento, CA 2022 It Might Get Messy, San Francisco, CA 2022 It Might Get Messy First 5 Amador County, Jackson, CA 2022 It Might Get Messy, Mountain View, CA 2022 Amador County Office of Education PD 2022 Play-Based Emergent Curriculum, Palo Alto, CA 2022 Play It Forward, Cambridge, MA (online) 2022 It Might Get Messy, Saratoga, CA 2021 Making Learning Visible, Paso Robles, CA 2020 Positive Approach in the Classroom, San Mateo, CA 2019 Play-Based Emergent Curriculum, Alameda, CA 2019 Play-Based Emergent Curriculum, Palo Alto, CA 2019 Positive Approach, Ladera, CA 2019 Positive Approach, San Leandro, CA 2019 It Might Get Messy, San Leandro, CA 2019 It Might Get Messy, Palo Alto, CA 2019 Making Learning Visible, Hayward, CA 2019 Making Learning Visible, Los Gatos, CA 2019 Making Learning Visible, Alameda, CA 2019 Making Learning Visible, Palo Alto, CA 2019 Educator Exploration Day, Palo Alto, CA 2018 Emergent Curriculum, Alameda, CA 2018 Positive Approach, Mountain View, CA 2018 Play-Based Emergent Curriculum, Santa Clara, CA 2018 Making Learning Visible, Portola Valley, CA 2018 It Might Get Messy, Menlo Park, CA 2018 It Might Get Messy, Martinez, CA 2018 Educator Exploration Day, Palo Alto, CA 2018 Making Learning Visible, Palo Alto, CA
2023 Parenting the Positive Discipline Way, Palo Alto, CA 2022 Parenting the Positive Discipline Way, Hayward Unified School District 2022 Parenting the Positive Discipline Way, Palo Alto, CA 2021 Parenting the Positive Discipline Way, Palo Alto, CA 2021 Parenting the Positive Discipline Way, Hayward Unified School District 2020 Parenting the Positive Discipline Way, Hayward Unified School District 2019 Parenting the Positive Discipline Way, Spring Series, Palo Alto, CA 2018 Keynote, The Value of Play in Early Education, Santa Clara, CA 2018 Parenting the Positive Discipline Way, Spring Series, Palo Alto, CA 2018 Parenting the Positive Discipline Way, Fall Series, Palo Alto, CA 2017 Parenting the Positive Discipline Way, Fall Series, Palo Alto, CA 2016 Parenting the Positive Discipline Way, Summer Series, East Bay, CA
RESOURCES TO CLICK ON
Look at the calendar to find upcoming events.