We come to improv parenting from the side, sneaking up to it in the vast landscape of research on parenting, play, child development, psychology, mindfulness and creativity. There is some excellent research on the benefits of playful learning, improv and mindfulness in our personal (and professional) lives. Interested in learning more specifics?
Here's what we've found useful.
Guided Play: Principles and Practices (Weisberg et al, 2016)
"Guided play combines the best elements of free play and direct instruction: child autonomy and adult expertise."
The SAGE Encyclopedia of Contemporary Early Childhood Education: Guided Play (Zosh et al, 2016)
"There need not be tension between free play and didactic instruction. Guided play highlights what is to be learned through inviting children’s participation and maximizing learning."
Failure = Learning
"parents who see failure as debilitating focus on their children’s performance and ability rather than on their children’s learning, and their children, in turn, tend to believe that intelligence is fixed rather than malleable"
As human beings, we are socialized to distance ourselves from failures. Reframing failure from something associated with shame and weakness to something associated with risk, uncertainty and improvement is a critical first step on the learning journey.