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Breakwater Parent Education and Professional Development

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Parent/ Family Education and Networking

Part 1: DIY Toys that Inspire Curiosity Driven Learning


with Josephine Roberts

Calendar Mar 28, 2018 at 6 pm

Postponed due to weather! New date- Wednesday, March 28

Part 1 in a two part series for parents and teachers curious about making their own toys for the home or classroom. Workshops explore a handful of simple techniques using a variety of easy-to-find toymaking materials. Participants will craft some toys to take home and explore a handful of kid-tested activities designed to inspire play-based, curiosity-driven learning.

Part 1 focuses on making Story Stones and how to successfully engage with children around the stones various creative and educational uses, including child-driven literacy and numeracy activities.

Cost includes all materials and access to online follow up! (Save $10 by registering for both parts 1 & 2)

About the instructor:
Josephine Roberts created A Barefoot Education after many years teaching and caring for young children in Vermont, Washington, Hawaii, and Maine. Always enchanted by nature herself, her favorite part of teaching has always been sharing every-day nature adventures with kids, whether searching the shores for frogs at the pond, or shells at the beach, or curled up in the corner of the classroom with a story about a boy who weaves cloth from the clouds. Josephine is a teacher,  writer,  toy maker, photographer, and naturalist. She is dedicated to providing resources and opportunities for teachers, parents, and other caregivers to connect young children to nature and a sustainable lifestyle through everyday play. 


(not) Running with Scissors- Letting Your Child Use Real Tools Safely


with Shaun Aylward

Calendar May 12, 2018 at 6 pm

Injury prevention plays a key role in keeping children safe, but emerging research suggests that imposing too many restrictions on children’s explorations hinders their development. The maker’s movement has inspired attention to the benefits in allowing children opportunities to use real tools and materials to explore, discover and create.

Breakwater’s tinkering teacher will share his expert experience balancing the priorities of risky opportunities and children’s safety for optimal child development. Multiage students will model tool use and protocols!

Practical tips and hands-on experiences to help participants 

  • briefly discuss about what is "ok dangerous" and what is irresponsibly or inappropriately dangerous
  • better understand the benefits of allowing children to do risky things
  • gain some practical language and skills to help their children or students judge the safety of different situations on their own; be aware of and handle their own bodies in space; create and enter contractual agreements with children around safety and safe use of tools
  • use some of the tools themselves that children are using at Breakwater

About the instructor:
Shaun is an artist, human ecologist, and educator. After studying at the College of the Atlantic, Shaun taught sailing, built museum exhibits, worked as a production baker, fine furniture maker, musician, visual artist, and finally, spent three years as an upholsterer before returning to school to complete his Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) at the Maine College of Art. Shaun’s mission at Breakwater is to resource the curiosity of children, believing that elaborating on and synthesizing expressions of curiosity promotes (plural and simultaneous kinds of) growth by illuminating mosaics of relatedness. Additionally, Shaun is an avid lepidopterist and active member of the Maine Entomological Society.

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