Play is a universal language. Have you ever watched children who speak different languages interact? Without speaking a word, children find common ground in play. A shy glance is returned with a big smile followed by hiding behind a grown-up and the game goes on until they are either rolling in laughter (another universal language) or simply move onto something else.
Admit it! Grown-ups do the same thing with children in the grocery line, while waiting to be called in for an appointment, or when we are out for dinner.
Of course, I don’t often see grown-ups doing this with other grown-ups. But what if we did? What if play was just a part of everyday life?
Play is in all of us. But for a lot of adults the weight of life is a lot to carry and our playful spirit is stuffed down in the bottom of a pocket, forgotten like a gum wrapper.
We just have to find ways to intentionally be playful in our daily activities and interactions to make completing the tasks of the day more pleasant.
In the spirit of finding your play, every day, Wild About Play is here to facilitate play-based birthday parties in your home or at local parks/gathering spaces and leading playful activities at gatherings or events.
We also offer parent coaching to help calm the chaos of life and free up more time for play. We offer speaking on all sorts of topics about the importance of play for group meetings or trainings. And best of all we offer Play Lady sessions in childcare programs as well as consultation with childcare programs to encourage child-led, unstructured play in their days.
Miss Michelle, as her tiny humans call her, began her early childhood education career in 2005 while her youngest son, Matthew, was still an infant. Originally wanting to fill a need in the community while also staying home with her two boys, Michelle (and her husband, Chris) opened their home to the first of many children in June, 2005. Although Michelle’s program has grown and changed as her knowledge of child development has grown play has always been at the basis of everything she offered to families needing childcare. Miss Michelle took a break from in-home care in 2011 and worked in center-based childcare until 2013 when she reopened in her home. Eventually there was such a demand for her program that in 2016 she expanded into an out-of-home space, with a home-like atmosphere, allowing for even more children to attend and more play to be enjoyed.
As often happens, life brought forth change for Miss Michelle’s childcare program and in 2018 she shifted back to in-home childcare with a smaller, close-knit group of children. Now it is time for Miss Michelle to share all of her knowledge and talent with childcare programs, parents, and all who need to include play in their lives.
Michelle lives in Fargo, ND with her husband, Chris, and their teenage son, Matthew. Their oldest son, Alex, is grown and flown from the family and finds adventure as a young adult living on his own.