Hello! I'm Rowan...
I'm an early years consultant, with a special interest in child led learning and play. I work part time as a childminder (home childcare provider), and very much full time as a mother and home educator of my 8 year old daughter, Elsie Bean. It is the most important job I have ever done. I passionately believe in the value of learning through play, of gentle and respectful parenting, and of trusting our children's innate ability to learn.
I spent my early adult life working as a primary school teacher in inner city schools here in Bristol, mainly with Reception aged children (4-5yrs). I worked really hard on developing outdoor learning opportunities, promoting gentle and respectful behaviour management strategies, and creating beautiful and inspiring learning environments. It was a highly pressured job (more of a vocation really) and I became increasingly disillusioned by it, despite my love for my incredible colleagues and wonderful families.
Discovering Gentle Parenting
After the birth of my daughter, I came to the conclusion that teaching was no longer for me. I wanted to be my own boss, and to be able to implement change. So, I registered as a childminder and launched myself into developing a Montessori, Waldorf and Reggio-inspired early years setting, with a strong emphasis on learning through play and holistic development.
It was during this time that I read and read and read and read, and discovered so much more about child development and early learning than I had learned during my four years of teacher training AND 10+ years in the classroom! I felt so passionately that I wanted something different for my own child, and that I wanted to be able to support and inspire parents to offer something different for their children.
So, 'Invitations to Play’ was born! I’ve been creating and providing simple, fun, low cost, low waste, creative and open ended play activities for the past 7 years or so for my ‘mindees’ and have seen first hand how it has transformed play within my own setting. Now I’m on a quest to transform play for others!!
Thank you for following my journey...