The Positively Playful Story
Hi, friends, and welcome to Positively Playful.
I’m Allyson. I’m a homeschool mom of two boys. I knew I was going to be a homeschooler long before I had children. After working with children through high school and college, and then teaching kindergarten in my 20s, I knew that I wanted to experience my kid’s childhoods along with them—to let them learn in the way that was best for them, to let them dive deep into what they loved, and to give them experiences they just couldn’t get inside the four walls of a classroom.
When I look back on it, Positively Playful was born with my first son. The activities I created for him, the games we played, and the things I learned all became the foundation for everything I do.
The PlayPlans and digital products you’ll find on my website are tried and tested by my own children and those that I work with. They offer activities that can spark discovery and allow for open-ended play. They are simple for caregivers to set up, and each product comes with access to booklists, corresponding PlayBoxes, and ways to dive deeper into the topic.
Every PlayBox I make is inspired by my own children. The Builder Box, which features a vehicle, play dough, peg dolls and an assortment of sensory objects, reminds me of little hands digging, building, and creating whole cities and towns. The Forest Fairy Box, full of whimsical sensory pieces, play dough, peg dolls and paint, brings me back to long nature walks in the woods, sunshine streaming through the leaves, kneeling down to peer under mushrooms and into logs to see if maybe we would finally catch a glimpse of a fairy. All of the PlayBoxes I design come from watching my kids and other kids play and create. They’re great for enhancing a unit study, quiet playtime, road trips or waiting rooms. Each PlayBox comes with a booklist carefully curated to encourage play
When my second son was born seven years later, it was almost like starting over. All my friends had “big kids” and I had to find a whole new community for my youngest. Suddenly I was the experienced homeschool mom, and I realized how much I loved helping other parents and kids in their learning journey.
With that in mind, I started teaching this year at a community school in Athens, using the PlayPlans as a weekly curriculum. Through group activities, stations and special projects, they have dived into fairy tales and other fantastic literature, studied ancient languages and codes, done sensory science experiments, and travelled the world through books, stories and crafts.
I organized a PlayPod in North Gwinnett, where children have the freedom to move around themed stations and participate in group activities with their caregiver. It has been wonderful to see the children grow more confident each week in themselves and in the activities.
It has been such a joyful success that I decided to expand the Playful classes starting this summer. Local classes are currently forming in the North Georgia area for elementary aged children. These classes are rooted in play and are designed to meet children where they are and support different learning styles. At the heart of all Playful Classes is the idea of a Safe Space, created by three simple concepts: We Always Consider Others, We Can Ask For What We Want and We Don’t Find our Happiness at the Expense of Others. This gives ownership of the space and community to the children, and the confidence to move through the world outside of Playful classes.
Mixed-age classes are a beautiful way for children to learn with and from each other. Activities can be tweaked to support different levels and learning styles, allowing for a variety of learners and personalities to work together. This also gives children the opportunity to work at their developmental level and not be boxed in by grade level.
Full day and partial day options will be available, allowing each family to make the best choices for themselves and their children. To cultivate the sense of community, caregivers will sign up for times to be present and participate in our day, and will be encouraged to share their personal talents and passions with the group. Outside of those times, caregivers may stay and be involved in the program or choose to drop off. This gives the ability to let the children guide us with their comfort levels.
It’s a very exciting time, and I’m sure between our PlayPlans, PlayBoxes and in-person classes you’ll find something for your family.