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 no direct research on using improv in our households, but there is a ton of informative, complementary and downright cool stuff that supports using improvisation, mindfulness and playfulness in our personal lives.
Our culture often creates a false dichotomy between play and learning. Guided play offers a mix of the two.
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."
Websites we like
This blog by psychologist Peter Gray on play and curiosity as foundations for learning.
Great, no-hype zerotothree website for developmental information and positive parenting support.
Incredible web-based community of resources and support for incorporating mindfulness into classrooms everywhere.
Greater Good Science Center. Incredible resource! A go-to landing place for me as I navigate how to raise resilient, compassionate children. "The Greater Good Science Center studies the psychology, sociology, and neuroscience of well-being, and teaches skills that foster a thriving, resilient, and compassionate society."
Hand in hand parenting provides resources for positive, respectful parenting and supporting the parent-child connection.
Author of two bestselling respectful parenting books, Janet Lansbury has podcasts and articles that dig right into the stickiest parenting situations and helps us reframe the challenges as opportunities for teaching, modeling and growth.