About Bee Kids
Bee Kids was originally conceived as an ESL school for preschoolers and young children.
The first classroom opened in Yokohama, in 2010. It provided a safe, engaging and interactive environment, that allowed children the freedom to learn and have fun on their own terms. Even our displays were on the lower half of walls for the children to add to and design as they liked.
Playful learning was key to our success. Every day we offered opportunities to play, create, explore, and discover. Playful activities were open-ended, and learning was organic and directed by the children. Even so, I was terrified when we began. Handing control of learning (i.e. playing) to the children was so contrary to what other schools were doing that it took some adjustment for everyone: parents, teachers, and children. However, it soon became evident that this philosophy was even more beautiful in practice than in theory.
Since those early days, Bee Kids has evolved into a childcare service and also offers:
- resource development
- curriculum un-design
- training and support for parents and teachers of young children
Bee Kids develops resources and activities that focus on playful learning and following the child; so the focus of any activity is the journey, not the destination. As much as possible, our role is to offer opportunities to play and then to simply be present. The question, “What are we learning about?” is redundant. Instead we ask:
- What are you interested in?
- How do you want to play?
A New Adventure Begins!
The founder of Bee Kids, Colette Stevenson, is super excited to begin this blog as a way to share ideas and resources that allow kids to be kids as they play, learn, and grow. As the site grows, content will include:
- playful learning activities and resources
- fun games for parties and events
- tips and tools for parents and teachers
- more information about playful learning
- posts about parenting journeys
- ideas to help let the children in your life teach you
Following the child is the foundation for playful learning. In letting kids be kids, we not only maximise opportunities for learning but we also reduce the stress of acquiring skills and knowledge.
Colette will also spotlight her own parenting journey, and how following the child has helped with some unique challenges: raising a child abroad, linguistic and cultural barriers, being far from family and other support networks, running a business, and hyperlexia/atypical child development.
But, remember…Ideas are useless without action. With action, an idea can: grow, change, teach, and create. Click To Tweet
Feel free to read, browse, try ideas out, play with the resources, and get creative. Take ownership and make the ideas your own. Finally, participate by adding your thoughts and feedback to the comments. Share how you bring activities to life. How do you encourage playful learning at home or in the classroom? What lessons have you learned from the children in your life? When have you struggled to let children lead? What concerns or worries do you have? Which moments have been your proudest? Please, let the us know, in the comments. As much as possible all comments will be responded to.
And, if you have more to say or would like to guest blog, you can email Colette here.