Two moms have created what they see as a dream place for their own children and the community at large to come and play and learn.
Michelle McEvoy and Lisa Ball describe their recently opened Nature's Playhouse
in downtown Ferndale as "an all-natural family enrichment center." Both know the craving to find a redeeming place to take their children, and what they wanted to build was a place that's good for children and their families.
Nature's Playhouse is located at 318 W. Nine Mile Road. The pair previously ran a smaller Nature' s Playhouse in the Hunter Community Center in Clawson.
Their mom-driven entrepreneurship grew out of desire to provide the entire family with enriching experiences in environmentally safe, conscious surroundings.
And while playhouse is in the business name, it's not just about kids running around having fun. Nature's Playhouse is a wellness center, a classroom, yoga studio and more.
Open playtime is a part of Nature's Playhouse. Families can drop in or buy a membership. And besides the play area of yesteryear, they will find toys made of wood and cloth and by hand. One rule: no phones. The idea is to be involved with the kids, and the surroundings are meant to be peaceful and calming.
Nature's Playhouse also has aligned itself with likeminded teachers, artists and crafters who will lead workshops and classes. Classes in natural child-birth, prenatal, family and therapeutic yoga, workshops in belly painting, puppet making and much, more are on the menu.
Nature's Playhouse will also be home to several free support groups for breastfeeding, postpartum care, and baby-weaning, and host workshops and special events emphasizing family wellness. Handcrafted items made by Michigan families will be for sale.
Ball and McEvoy will teach as will other instructors, experts and specialists. McEvoy, a certified schoolteacher in Michigan and California, will be the lead instructor.
"One of the things I love the most about Nature's Playhouse is that the environment and the class offerings provide the opportunity for our kids to observe and participate with us while we do some things to take care of ourselves," says McEvoy, a University of Michigan graduate who has traveled the world and taught Kindergarten and fifth grade before becoming a mom.
Ball, a veteran entrepreneur and owner of Joseph K Publications, director of Clawson's Arts & Authors Festival, project coordinator for The Formation of Motherhood Project, and founder of the My Glass is Full consultancy, says the emphasis is actually on keeping moms in shape emotionally and physically so they can be the best they can be.
‘Women are still the heart of families today, which is why our programs focus on family wellness through physical health, enriching classes to help bond with your child and free support groups to help women on their new journey through motherhood.”
Source: Lisa Ball & Michelle McEvoy, owners, Nature's Playhouse
Writer: Kim North Shine