AKIDEMY was designed as a space for children to create, explore, interact and collaborate in many different ways; this is the very essence of the Reggio Philosophy. When Tristan and I took the leap and decided to open our own program, we both knew that at the core of what we were going to create was a strong belief that the children needed a natural and safe environment. That was the driving force behind designing a space that would foster children’s curiosity and their innate desire to wonder and learn.
In order for us to achieve the space we had imagined we started out on a journey to find companies that created inspiring equipment that was safe and sustainable. We wanted to include elements of the natural world and bring the outdoors inside in a holistic and beautiful way. The children would need a space that would provide opportunities for children to work individually or collaboratively.
Our journey wasn’t easy. Tristan and I spent many hours searching for the right pieces. Most of the websites and catalogues we would come across offered equipment for preschools and child care centers with your typical plastic, bright and colorful pieces. Unfortunately nothing seemed to come into line with our own values.
Tristan spent days trying to find the right fit and finally had stumbled upon a site that not only was the perfect match but would become the staple for the equipment in our program. Those Natural Pod Tables and Shelving! When she first showed the site to me, I instantly fell in love. This equipment was whimsical, pretty, sustainable, versatile, inviting, CANADIAN! AND made from all natural and non-toxic materials. We had finally found a local company that was dedicated to building equipment that was creating a positive change in the early learning community.
As we continue to grow and expand we look forward to working with the Natural Pod team to create more spaces just like our first. Almost every time a family first sets foot into our space we often hear similar comments on how beautiful, calm and natural the environment is. This is something we take great pride in knowing; as our collective team work has made such a huge impact for so many families in our community. AKIDEMY will continue to offer an innovative and quality early learning program where the environment is definitely the third teacher!