Forest Friends Children’s House: New kid on the block in Truckee
TRUCKEE, Calif. – Lisa Kingman, a native Sierra Nevadan has put down roots at 11330 Forest Lane, Truckee. Born and raised between the Bay Area and a family ranch near Yosemite, Kingman traveled and studied education from Alaska to London and most of the continental U.S. She returned to California in 2000.
“I have created a child-safe, environmentally sound and defensible space. I’m participating in local energy conservation programs to make this business green, too,” said Kingman. She hosted a CPR/first aid course needed for licensing and plans to offer parent workshops, study groups and seasonal celebrations to families.
The Children’s House translates from the Italian “Casa De Bambini,” created by Maria Montessori in the early 20th century.
“I feel so lucky to have found this delightful home where the children can explore nature, art, music, cook and play house. I incorporate language, math, science and cultural activities into imaginative play at ‘the store’ or wherever the children’s imaginations take them.”
KidZone Museum, trips to businesses, the lake and more are wonderful resources close to Forest Friends. Now that the shrubbery is pruned, Kingman has been talking over the fence with her neighbor Gabby at Lengua Viva who will bring Spanish lessons to Forest Friends.
Kingman was lucky to stay home with her two sons and home school. Later the boys attended Montessori schools where she returned to teach. She gained an appreciation for community spirit through the school’s recovery process. One of her former training programs donated two complete sets of Montessori elementary materials. She gave one to the school and kept one to use in her own programs.
Her eldest son graduated from TMCC High School in Reno, Nev. then joined Americorp’s City Year Program in Seattle, Wash. where his younger brother is soon to follow after graduating Truckee High School June 11.
Her nest will not be empty as she opens her doors to welcome families seeking a unique blend of innovative Montessori, Waldorf and Reggio-inspired home child care. “I’ve worked in a variety of school settings and none compare to the freedom and responsiveness I find meeting the needs and interests of children in an in home setting. The rhythm of the day comes from the children, not some self-imposed arbitrary schedule. The seasons, the natural world and cultural life from our community are meaningful to the children and are what I use to create our daily activities,” said Kingman.
She saved many of the wooden, woolen and handmade toys and materials her children enjoyed. You can see pictures, slideshows and links and more at https://sites.google.com/site/forestfriendschildrenshouse.
“I like the term ‘Children’s House’ because it echoes what I provide, a house for children to explore and engage in meaningful experiences and relationships with their peers and nurturing, educated adults,” Kingman said.
She hopes to give back by sponsoring a family, welcoming Sierra Nevada Child Services subsidized families and offering employment to a well-qualified staff member as enrollment grows. There are flowers needing small hands to water them, swings and platforms to on which to play, a large, outdoor, wooden, building blocks project and an indoor play stands and loft projects in the works. Forest Friends Children’s House is open year round serving infants and up. Call for an appointment to visit Forest Friends Children’s House at 530-550-8620.
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