Play town was founded in 2020 during the
Aprile Johnson a longtime Southwest Airlines employee took some time off and found herself with a lot of time in her hands and was eager to stay busy during such uncertain times.
Meanwhile her sister-in-law, Mieke Johnson was stuck at home with two young children while her post as a Tinkergarten leader was put on hold.
Is boredom the auntie of invention?
Upon hearing a news report about children in Spain having to stay inside for
6 weeks Mieke thought about ways to bring nature into the homes of families at a time when going outside was against the community good.
On a weekly children's Zoom call Mieke was hosting in lieu of in person nature classes, she steered away from a lesson about sticks, knowing some of the kids didn't have access to nature at that time while in their urban apartment. Then when another Tinkergarten leader mentioned that she had to bring sticks to her neighborhood park when she taught classes because it was so manicured, Mieke realized that even though some children have access to nature, they may not be able to come away with some of the delightful elements that make nature play a tactile experience.
These moments turned into a product brainstorm session resulting in the Play Town Nature Treasure Sensory Bins. These bins, which are useful in a variety of open-ended ways to play, for DIY nature crafts and STEM activities aim to assist families in getting cozy with nature in their own way in their own homes. The sensory bins have become the inspiration for many useful toys and tools to encourage more nature at home.
Epic views, babbling brooks and park trail systems are wonderful in the grand scale of things, but nature provides infinite interest in the details found in single elements from any given environment. Getting cozy with those details; with all the senses, will also provide a love of nature and a respite from the many stresses of the frenzied world around us.