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The Full Story


Spirit of Play uses a somatic approach to learning, which implies facilitation that trusts individuals to learn from and listen to the information they are receiving from the interaction of the self with the environment. Somatic or embodied knowing is experiential knowledge that involves senses, perceptions, and mind-body actions and responses. Western culture has been dominated by the separation of cognitive knowledge from embodied knowledge and the distrust of bodily knowing.

We hold space with the understanding that the body comes first and is not separate from its environment. The body is recognized as a source of knowledge, empowerment over dominant culture, evolving empathy, and honoring diversity. Our pathway is embodied in which a holistic approach to curriculum development, facilitating, learning, and research, brings the body back into experiential practice (education).

Spirit of Play is based on a biomimicry design, a pathway grounded in systems that reflect the patterns and principles in community ecology. This approach is the most resilient and stable system known to us. Ecosystems are self-replicating, self-propagating, and self-maintaining, increase in complexity and resiliency over time, and use resources effectively by cycling them through tens of thousands of interactions. Every organism depends on countless others and, in turn, relies upon the whole. Therefore, the goal of education is not the acquisition of knowledge but the intertwining of experiences. The experience held in trust allows children to truly individuate and move out into the world with a sense of self.


Our pathways aim to create communities rooted in empathy, compassion, healing, interconnection, altruism, and creative problem-solving. We combine previously disconnected concepts into new circumstances, bringing back supported lived experiences into the community, evolving caring and courageous kids.


We believe childhood is joyful and wholesome, and the value of climbing trees, harvesting veggies, and catching frogs is part of the human experience. We believe empathy, love, curiosity, and altruism are the trusted foundation of learning.  We believe in the healing power of connecting the rhythms of the earth.

Teachers, children, & community are free to explore in the moment experience where true learning tasks place.

Kids in Vegetable Farm
Kids in Vegetable Farm


Our mission is to hold space and meet children where they are while indwelling authentic relationships with self, community, and the earth.


Our vision is to evoke a relationship with our birthrights to evolve a harmonious way of moving in the community.

Father and Son in Chicken Farm

Our Community

Teaching is an Art Form

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Preschool Facilitator

Dawn Mulrooney-Portland

Bio coming soon!

Visit Our Sister Schools

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