Play ~ Create ~ Connect
About the Space
A gentle place to play ...
My Village offers a play space utilizing open-ended, natural and non-toxic materials. We support handmade, sustainable, and eco-friendly play materials and furnishings whenever possible. The space is also cleaned with non-toxic cleaning products. If we wouldn't use it in our home we wouldn't use it here.
The toys you will find in My Village are chosen to be purposely simple and "open-ended." This means that a single object can be played with in a variety of ways, supporting more imaginative and creative thinking. A curved board can be a bridge, a road, a slide, or a doll cradle.
Toys that are too detailed or fixed in their function tend to only be played with in one way. We stay away from toys that are meant to entertain such as toys with buttons, sounds, and lights. These types of toys tend to set a child up to expect to be amused and entertained leading to more passive play.
We choose toys that don't "do" anything because we want our children to be the doers! As child development expert Magda Gerber said, "Active toys make for passive babies. Passive toys make for active babies."
In the spirit of supporting the development of the whole child we provide opportunities for gross motor exploration alongside fine motor and imaginative play to engage your child's whole body and brain.
Founder Paige Volk, M.Ed., BCBA
Thank you for taking the time to stop by and visit! Please allow me to take the opportunity to tell you a little bit about myself, and about how My Village began!
Before I had my daughter in February of 2016 I worked as a Behavior Analyst doing ABA therapy with children and young adults on the autism spectrum. I loved the rewarding work I was doing with these very special individuals. Yet after the birth of my daughter I knew I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. I love being a stay-at-home parent and am so grateful to have the opportunity to do so. However, I discovered that despite all of the joy and fun, it is CHALLENGING! It is sometimes isolating, sometimes overwhelming, and often messy. (Anyone else have a sink full of dishes right now?)
Along the way I became inspired to create something for other parents, like me, who could use a little extra community and support. A place to just relax and have fun, share information, trade ideas, and gain confidence in our parenting. It was an extra bonus to be able to create a business in line with our family's values of non-toxic living and media-free natural parenting.
I don't follow any one parenting pedagogy. I believe that our children are born as highly unique, competent individuals and I trust in their ability to be initiators and eager explorers in their own learning. I believe in the holistic nurturing of the entire child - mind, body, and spirit. And I believe that when it comes to parenting, there is more than one good way. All children are unique and what works for one child may not work for another. I know understand that even more since the birth of my son in November of 2018!
Here at My Village my goal is to offer a range of classes that support families from pregnancy through early childhood. Even more than just offering a calendar of events, I hope to build a community of support and authentic connection. Healthy, happy, connected families make for a better world. I am so excited to be able to share this with you through My Village.
Thanks so much for dropping by. I hope to see you soon in one of our classes!
Playgroup Host Lindsey Kinney
Lindsey has her B.A. in Child Development with a minor in Psychology and is a licensed Occupational Therapist. She is currently an occupational therapist for the County of Orange and also provides private therapy for wide variety of diagnoses. Lindsey has experience working with children with special needs in the school setting, and has taken classes on postpartum mental health focusing on creating support networks for families.
Lindsey says, “the beauty of occupational therapy is that we are trained to see play as a child’s main occupation...it is through play that a child learns and grows, experiments with emotion...and begins to build a relationship with the world. It is also so fundamentally important to the development of gross motor, fine motor, and sensory skills. I am a strong believer that play is developmental and does come naturally in a typically developing child. Although it can be facilitated by adults our role should be rather to set up an environment that allows play to develop naturally.”
Becoming a mother to her two boys has helped Lindsey understand child development on another level from the parent perspective. She believes that every parent is the expert on their own child, and she is passionate about helping parents understand child development so they may connect more deeply with their children. “I have an eclectic style...every child is unique.” She focuses on positive interactions and parenting with intention. “But let’s face it, I have not perfected this art, nor do I believe I ever will!” She understand the importance of cultivating a space for families to be together with other families in similar life seasons and can relate to the isolation parenting in our society can sometimes bring.
Lindsey is happily married to her “hero” and is the mother to two very active little boys! She enjoys spending time outside is part of a wonderful community church.
Playgroup Host Megan Pritchard
Megan has a B.A. in Psychology from Reed College, a Multiple Subjects (Elementary) Teaching Credential from Mills College and is currently pursuing a M.S. in Early Childhood Education (Social-Emotional Learning Concentration) from Erikson Institute. After graduating from college Megan spent some time working on Developmental Psychology research projects before jumping from theory to practice and becoming an elementary school teacher. She taught Kindergarten through Fifth grade for over 10 years at a variety of schools spread throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. She has been staying at home with her son since his birth (February, 2018) and moved to Lake Forest in June of the same year.
This is what she has to say about her parenting philosophy: “My parenting philosophy is the amalgamation of many influences. My years of teaching and experience with children certainly established the foundation. I view children as competent, autonomous beings, making sure to respect their thoughts, wishes, and desires regardless of their age. However, I also believe in the role of the parent to guide, support, and set limits when necessary. My overall approach and views are strongly influenced by the Reggio-Emilia approach to education. I have also drawn heavily from Magda Gerber’s RIE philosophy over the past year with my son. In addition to all of the above, I also believe in self-compassion. As a parent, I feel it is important to create a home that meets everyone’s needs, not just those of your child. Giving ourselves a break when we are human and feeling ok when you make sure your own needs are met is something I strive for as a mother as well.”
When she has free time she likes to read, visit with friends, create (it varies, but currently sewing related projects), watch TV and attend live theater shows.