Family Folk - A Space For Community And Support. A Winning Concept For Your Child
Family Folk: The Story Behind
Let me tell you a little story about my friend Anna. We met in Germany, back when we were both teenagers and tried to "find" ourselves. Remember those days? I do! We both belonged to different communities, from music to church - you name it. We recognized the importance of outside relations, outwidth our own families - and made friends for life. We ended up going similiar, yet totally different paths, but even though, up to this day, somewhat 12 years later we are still friends. Whilst Anna went off to America and later to the UK to work as Nanny. I on the moved straight to the UK to study the language and work a lot of random jobs (we still talking pre-twenties here). 12 years on, Anna is now living in London working as Nanny, trained as Doula, with her living husband Ben, whom she met in America, and together they have a wonderful, wild, little daughter - Yona Gray (what an awesome name btw - kuddos Anna & Ben). You wonder where this is going? Stay with me the best part is yet to come!
When Anna became a mom, she continued to be involved in local communities, mom & parent groups, as well as her church. She recognizes the need for a safe heaven for families like herself, in her neighbourhood of Hackney in London. So she started to think and work hard to put her ideas into words and a concept going forward (note: whilst raising an amazing daughter, working full time and support for her friends around). A few months later she was ready to introduce her brainchild to the world: Family Folk : A place where families in all stages and of all make up come together, build strong bonds as a community, offer or receive support and watch their children grow in a montessori inspired environment that encourages free and explorative play.
What does Anna have to say about it?
"Family Folk want to offer support to local families in all stages of parenthood. The vital role of parents is often overlooked in our society today. The transition to parenthood is a time of massive change for mothers and fathers, and also lays the foundation for the long-term health and well being of children. This emphasises the importance of a solid support system and generally being rooted in a community of other parents. Many studies point out that there isn’t enough support for parents, especially mentally and emotionally. Fathers are often excluded from antenatal preparation and postnatal support groups entirely. There is a need for safe spaces where parents can find evidence based information and support on topics such as parenting, relationship changes and self-care. Emotional and mental well-being are of great importance for parents themselves as well as for their children’s well-being and development. This is where Family Folk wants to step in and support parents with the challenges they may face. We want to bring families of East London together to share knowledge, time, space and creativity for their mental and emotional well-being as well as finding inspiration and friendship. Family Folk will create that space for parents and their children."
Sound pretty awesome, doesn't it? For me being a young (ok relatively young) mom in a foreign country, I would have wished for exactly a space like Family Folk. Ofcourse there are classes, and play groups, but nothing with a community in mind. So I believe we should all take a stand support Anna in her venture.
Watch her Kickstarter Video below & follow this link!
Now you are probably thinking, ok this is nice, but usually she's talking about interiors? You are right! So I want to look closer at the space Anna has in mind for Family Folk. A medium sized spaced, with big glass front-shop-windows, for lots of light! Loving it! You can see below how the banner/ vinyl placement might look in this mock up, created by Anett Junghardt.
Anna even made a little moodboard, which I am totally in Love with. The idea for the space is captured in soft and light colours, with organic, locally sourced materials to create a light and welcoming atmosphere. And since I know Anna is interested herself in all sort of educational theories and philosophie's, I thought this looks mighty like a perfect Montessori inspired environment.
And since I know Anna is interested herself in all sort of educational theories and philosophie's, I thought this looks mighty like a perfect Montessori inspired environment. Monte...what? The Montessori philosophy is aiming for young children to learn at their own pace, self-motivated, at practical play. Children are encouraged to move freely and curiously in a safe environment that can be their home, nursery or later school. The philosophy is shaped around the individuality of the child and its potential, to keep it natural and child friendly. When I say child friendly, I don't mean save-from-the-child, rather the child can explore everything without getting hurt. We want to raise curious and adventures little fella's who can not wait to explore the world around them, right!
Family Folk Mock Up: Montessori Inspired Play Group Space
I was spinning it further and created a full blow 3D visualisation. Bam! You can see significant differences to Anna's and my moodboard, that's ok - too. Let me explain my choice of colour. Even though I stuck to the light materials in furnishing and accessories, I decided on a deep blue/green wall paint. Blue as a colour is proven to have a soothing and calm effect, whereas green is helping to find balance and harmony. For my accent colour for textiles and such, I choose a soft peach tone, which mediates warmth, comfort and security. A good combination, wouldn't you think?
Montessori In Your Home
Do you like the way Montessori inspired spaces are set up? Not to worry, you can easily transfor your home or your kids room into a safe haven.
Just follow these key principles, with the emphasis on keeping it natural & child friendly
Keep height of furniture & shelving child-height friendly - they need to be able to reach whatever is in or on top
Use warm & comforting colours on walls and textiles (if colours at all that is)
Use wooden materials in toys and furniture as much as you can
Here are some of my favourite Pinterest finds for Montessori inspired spaces. Just click on the image of your choice and you'll be redirected to the original source.
With that I leave you for today and finish with Famikly Folk's philosophy corner stones: