When Stonework Play creator Diana Suskind and Nurture in Nature Australia founder Tania Moloney met in 2016 at the International Children & Nature Network Conference a lovely friendship was borne out of a shared passion for outdoor play, nature inspired learning and reconnecting kids, families and people of all ages with the natural world.
Along with their friendship blossomed the idea of Tania bringing Diana to Australia to share all about Stonework Play and thus the seeds were also planted for an International Stonework Play Day.
Recently Tania had also serendipitously connected with Dr Catherine Crock to chat about their work and passion for it, and they saw a perfect and natural fit for Stonework Play to help celebrate the wonderful Gathering of Kindness.
In the message below they invite you to come and celebrate the Gathering of Kindness through the powerful medium of Stonework Play.
We hope you will join us in celebrating the Gathering of Kindness and the very first International Stonework Play Day!
A common thread emerged as we talked about the possible impacts that an International Stonework Play Day could have on individuals, families, classrooms, communities and wider still.
The recurring theme that naturally wove itself into many of our conversations was about how important the opportunity to share stories is for people of all ages and backgrounds, but how often now it seems to get pushed to the side in our busy, modern day lives.
All that busyness can lead to many of us thinking that other people are too busy to hear our story and to really listen to what is important to us.
Through getting involved in International Stonework Play Day, we want to show you that YOUR STORY MATTERS and there are people out there who want and need to hear it.
Storytelling has always been a powerful part of every culture in the world - from our early ancestors sharing primitive but meaningful drawings on rock walls to Martin Luther King Jr sharing the story of his 'Dream' for freedom and equality. Stories shared around a campfire or over the dinner table. Telling bedtime stories to our sleepy eyed children that are written or imagined to inspire their growing minds and hearts - these are the moments we feel most connected to each other.
Through sharing our stories we are helping to nurture EMPATHY, KINDNESS, COMPASSION, BELONGING, PEACE and UNDERSTANDING ... and these are qualities that humankind and our world need more than anything right now.
In Stonework Play, every stone chosen and every story created is unique and special - just like you.
Sharing YOUR unique story can help and inspire others to tell theirs. In seeing and listening to other people's stories from all around the world, you are telling them that THEIR story truly matters too.
Sharing your story can also create a ripple effect that can impact the lives of others all over the world. You never know who might be listening who really needs to hear your story.
So during this Gathering of Kindness and on this first International Stonework Play Day we invite you to do Stonework Play wherever you are in the world - be it by a beach, a trail, a sidewalk, at a park or indoors - and then share your Stonework Play drawings, photos and the stories you created with your stones.
To find out how to do Stonework Play, simply register here http://nurtureinnature.com.au/international-stonework-play-day/ and we’ll email you a downloadable copy of the INTERNATIONAL STONEWORK PLAY DAY Parents & Educators Handbook.
This just the beginning ... we hope you will join us in sharing YOUR STORY far and wide and let's see how far our Kindness and Stonework Play ripples can take us all around this wonderful world.
Tania Moloney and Diana Suskind
Tania playing with kids and sticks ... Diana playing with kids and stones!
About Tania and Diana:
Tania Moloney, Founder of Nurture in Nature Australia
Tania is passionate about helping kids, families and educators connect with nature and with each other. She is a highly regarded speaker and workshop presenter here in Australia and Internationally. Her childhood was filled with opportunities for outdoor adventures and she made (and ate) LOTS of mud pies. She has a head and heart full of cherished childhood memories of family camping trips, building "cubbies", sleeping under the stars and playing with sticks. Now with her own young family, Tania desperately wants those memories and experiences for her children too. As a result she has happily embraced that her kids will have perpetually dirty feet and her pockets/car/washing machine/handbag will be permanently filled with nature’s treasures.
Dr Diana Suskind (USA), Educator & Founder of Stonework Play
Diana Suskind, Ed. D and RIE (Resources for Infant Educators) Associate, is an international Early Childhood Consultant and artist. She developed the process of Stonework Play to inspire children and adults create meaningful stories through contact with nature; something she passionately believes todays' world needs. Diana initiated this activity at HEMS School in Kathmandu, Nepal, and has since introduced it through the United States as well as in Europe, Central America and Australia. Dr. Suskind recently retired as Associate Professor after 30 years of service in the Education Department at Fitchburg State University, Fitchburg, Massachusetts, USA. She is now focusing on her art and sharing Stonework Play.