I have wished many times my child could go back to being a baby. How wonderfully easy were those days, compared to now when she is four years old, mobile and very talkative. Just have another baby, you might say, but it’s not that easy. However after I visited the new Green Garden in Lido I wished I had another baby on my hip. I came in feeling rushed and so busy with work, but when I entered I felt immediately relaxed and peaceful. I love places with great design and pretty visual aspects.
“A respectful beginning is an investment in the future of the relationship between your child and you, your child and others, and in your child’s exploration of the world.” – Magda Gerber, Your Self-Confident Baby
But this place is not only pretty, it has a purpose. Babies from birth to 36 months are welcomed to this nursery with love. Ying Zhang (Vivian) and Jemina Villanueva-Vallee (Jea) have been working tirelessly to get this space ready for the smaller kids to toddle around and be respected. Green Garden’s vision is a courageous one, and much needed in Beijing. The two mothers work with the parenting philosophy RIE, which stands for Recourses for Infant Education. The RIE approach is a method which allows parents and carers to see the world through the child’s eye, talking to the children like a normal person and respecting their feelings and wishes.
Imagine this scenario: Your baby cries, but instead of grabbing the diaper and performing a uniform change, you talk them through it. “I’m going to change you now, because your diaper is wet.”
The Green Garden is a international nursery designed for young children and the loving adults in their lives. Zhang and Villanueva-Vallee believe that young children learn best through self-initiated exploration of their environment, discovery through play and interactions with other children. All the fabrics are eco-friendly organic materials, along with sustainable wood from Thailand and a non-toxic chocolate-smelling floor. And I can tell you it’s the best thing ever for my nose. The nursery also offers support services for parents, caregivers, and educators of infants and toddlers. Go have a look at this peaceful place in the hustle and bustle of Beijing; I promise you won’t regret it.
Photos: courtesy of Green Garden