Hello! I'm Rowan...
My name is Rowan, and I live in Bristol, in the South West of England, with my 7 year old daughter, Elsie Bean.
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 actually) 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 (home childcare provider) and launched myself into developing a Montessori, Waldorf and Reggio-inspired early years setting, with a strong emphasis on learning through nature and gentle parenting.
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 for all other children.
So, 'Invitations to Play’ was born! I’ve been creating and providing these types of activities for the past 6 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...