Learning with your hands and heart
What is Mighty Bambinis?
A nature-immersion preschool where children thrive in connection with others and nature; create and learn through play and project-based inquiry; and grow in self-knowledge and confidence.
AND a community where parents learn positive, connection-based parenting approaches and support each other during the preschool years and beyond.
We want children to spark a lifelong love of learning through a sense of belonging, hands-on emergent curriculum, and connection to nature and people.
Our goals are for children to develop:
Process over product growth mindset (wonder > experiment > reflect > repeat)
Deep connection with fellow humans and the natural world
Self-confidence and emotional agility through personal knowledge of mind, body, and heart
Our goals are for families to develop:
Parenting skills and confidence as playful, loving, yet firm leaders of their families
Supportive community for the early years and beyond
At Mighty Bambinis, we are here to guide children - to assist their process of discovering who they are, where they are going, and how they can contribute and create. In the first 5 years, 90% of the human brain develops. Children's brains are organizing, making connections, training their emotional, physical and cognitive pathways. Their body is developing, the senses are provide stimuli and feedback, emotions are refined. They are working together with teachers and peers, figuring out how to play with each other, to problem solve, how to get their needs met, learning how their actions impact the world around them. The confidence and competence they gain is the a momentum that carries them into a sense of agency (personal power) in school, relationships, and life.
Why Reggio-Emilia Approach?
THE ROLE OF THE ENVIRONMENT - A Reggio Emilia classroom environment is the "third teacher," fostering learning through inspiring wonder, creativity, and peace
THE ROLE OF THE TEACHER - Teachers learn alongside and guide children's individual and collective interests to meet their cognitive, socio-emotional, and physical needs
PROJECT WORK - Children engage in long-term, multi-disciplinary projects (such as figuring out if you can keep a newt as a pet or growing plants from seedlings) for deep, holistic learning
CONNECTION-BASED - Through deep caring connections children learn to safely navigate their emotions, social interactions, and conflict
PARENT PARTNERSHIP - Parents are every child's first teacher and your family is the most important relationship in their life. In partnership, we can support, mentor and learn from each other to best support your child and family now and in the future
Why Mighty Bambinis?
Real-world, hands-on learning -
Children learn through play & inquiry-based emergent curriculum projects guided by expert teachers
Learning through relationships -
Low ratios and positive guidance supporting social-emotional development and active child-led problem solving (1:6 teacher to student ratio or less)
Nature-based Earth Education -
Earth as our classroom inspires life-long stewardship of our environment and connection to the living world. It calms, soothes, and nurtures our bodies, minds and hearts.
Family-focused care & Close-knit community
Parenting in the early years is full of firsts. You're setting up family routines, rituals, culture and values. Through our community events and parenting education series only for MB parents learn strategies, discuss in community, and become the parents and family you've always wanted to be. Nurture life-long sustained community with other families to support your journey now and beyond.
How children learn?
Children learn best through play in a sensory rich environment with open-ended materials (nature, our "third teacher")
Guide, instead of teach - through observation, reflecting, and learning alongside we encourage curiosity, inquiry, experimentation and reflection resulting in modeling how to learn and an intrinsic love of learning
Confident & loving connection-based teaching (Teachers trained in Positive Discipline, Hand-in-Hand Parenting, RIE, etc) - through authentic relationships, based in respect, trust, and acceptance children's thinking brain is ready to learn
Kindergarten academic skills (number sense, numeracy, literacy, executive functioning skills) are taught in meaningful contexts with real-world applications
"Let the child be the scriptwriter, the director and the actor in his/her own play."
~Magda Gerber, founder of RIE
Being in the elements teaches us:
Children learn that they can finish a hike even if they get tired, wet, or hungry. They overcome obstacles like boulders, fallen logs, or their own feelings of uncertainty or frustration. At the end of each hike, they share their pride of achievement with the parent who greets them at the pickup location.
Children learn the rewards of helping each other by sharing food or gear, mentoring the younger hikers, showing each other the animals, vegetables, and minerals they discover, encouraging each other when they’re tired or sad, or building things out of natural materials.
Children learn that they can carry everything they need in their backpacks and utilize it independently. They learn that they can figure out how to scramble over a boulder or coax a snail into their hands. They learn how to decide when it’s time to put on a warm hat or take off their rain jackets, and how to keep their gear together. Kindergarten teachers often comment that our graduates are the most organized children in their classes!
In a classroom, object direct their use. Children are more often to have fixed ideas about the uses of materials and want what others have. In nature, a rock is doll, food, money, block. Nature-play encourages limitless creativity, communication and teamwork.
Comfort in Nature
Children learn to be comfortable in nature. Although your child most likely goes to a playground most days, she may not have as much regular experience in nature. Hiking with the family is fun but unlikely to occur on a weekly basis. Children need to spend a significant time in nature in order to bond with the natural world. This helps foster their future commitment to the earth and environmental issues. Teachers don’t carry children on hike or carry their gear. This is harder to accomplish for parents.
mentor for children, parents & teachers
"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire."
I am very fortunate to be the director of our small, mixed-age preschool where I get to blend the best of best of connection-centered, project-based and democratic early childhood philosophies. Each day we strive to practice and embody respectful, loving relationships where children, parents and teachers are seen, heard and valued. We are honored to see the world through the wondrous, present eyes of children - as scientists experimenting with and discovering the world.
When I’m not poring over brain research or nature-based provocations, you'll find my family and I with nets, wet shoes, sun-kissed cheeks hiking, picnic-ing, and catching and "thinking like" newts, tadpoles, crabs and butterflies. I love paddle boarding, jogging, yoga and watching my kids surf and mountain bike with their dad while our baby and I collect rocks and try not to eat sand.
I have spent the past 16 years helping children construct their own understandings and lighting a life long passion for learning. I've worn many hats in the field of education: infant caregiver, elementary classroom teacher, college application mentor for underrepresented youth, Director of a private school and home-based preschool. In addition to directing and teaching at Mighty Bambinis, I'm honored to serve the Bay Area early childhood community as CCSF Child Development Faculty, former Wonderschool Mentor Teacher and Advisor, and Early Childhood Matters parent education workshop facilitator.
I have a Masters in Education, California Multiple-Subject Teaching credential with an Elementary Math Emphasis, Early Childhood Education Site Supervisor Permit, and a BA in Communication from UCSD.