Hey there! My name is Penny and in case you’re a bit curious about who is behind this endeavour, here’s a bit about me.
My friends tell me that I am a master negotiator, this may be because I am a single mother to 7yo twin girls (and a large woolly hound!) and usually manage to get out the door fully clothed. I have a wildly curious nature and love questioning the status quo. My arts and design background means I interpret situations differently and see creative pathways and solutions to problems thrown my way. I love working collaboratively and connecting amazing people is my happy place.
I’ve learnt to juggle whatever is thrown my way especially after one of my girls was diagnosed with biliary atresia at 9 weeks old and subsequently required a liver transplant at 7 months. Coordinating planned and unplanned hospital stays for her and care at home for her twin sister and two dogs became a constant state of play and certainly got me flexing my project planning muscles.
I am not an educator nor did I spend my childhood freely roaming the countryside and yet here I am seeking to open a nature based kindy in Sydney. Why? I’m so glad you asked!
The simple answer is Frankie & Avery. Nope, that’s not the name of some fab local wine bar, they are the names of my two feisty daughters and they are the reason I’m here today.
As I pondered what experiences I felt were important for them and the usual early years offerings a lot of questions began to surface. This set me on a hunt for different offerings and pretty early on I came across the Forest Kindergarten approach. I was instantly drawn to it, it just immediately made sense to me that our children would benefit from time outdoors in nature. So I now knew what I was looking for, I just needed to find it. Unfortunately it was a fruitless search, our beautiful city with a great love of the outdoors had nothing that came close to replicating what I had seen offered overseas.
So began a long conversation that started with “What if I started one….??”. The conversation has continued over 3 years during which I met, connected and learnt from a plethora of fabulous people. I have done a deep dive on the nature play front and read, watched and listened to all I can get my hands on. I’m not there yet but it is all feeling a lot less abstract and a lot more real. So I do hope that very soon I’ll be opening the doors and welcoming you in person to my beautiful nature-based kindy.
Hope to see you there.
Your resident chief nature play enthusiast, Penny