Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Winter/Spring 2023 Calendar of Classes

 Winter/Spring 2023 Class Schedule:


Teacher Shannon



Teacher Shannon




Teacher Megan




Teacher Amy





Tues/Wed/Thur Classes begin (below) due to MLK Monday.


No Monday Class on 1/16 due to MLK

Jan. 17

1 - 18







**SteamFest is Saturday Jan. 28th: Free Event

















No classes on Monday 


Presidents Day Class is CLOSED

Make Up is 3/6




No Classes 2/27 - March 3rd

Make Up Week

(No class on Tuesday)


Make up for 2/20



Make up for 3/22


Make up for 3/23

No classes: March 13-17: Spring Break


No Class on Wed or Thursday




Rescheduled for March 8

3/23 No Class

Rescheduled on 3/9


























Make Up

5/1 for 1/9

Monday, September 19, 2022

Fall 2022 - Week 3 of Wonder Studio: Unshakably Good

 Week 3 of Wonder Studio: Unshakably Good.

Hello Wonder'ers,

I recently listened to two podcasts that I feel are worth mentioning, I will list the links below...

Father Greg Boyle from Homeboy Industries talked about all of us being Unshakably Good.

The importance of letting go of good/bad people and putting a bar for others to measure up to.

He asks this question of:

How do we Cherish one another?

"G" said his intention is always to 

"Delight in the people in front of him."

And, then Dr. Becky followed this message with teaching our children they are Good.

When behaviors are difficult, we begin with "Good Kid".

She says,  “That’s not how behavior change works. We don’t change behavior by inserting a different behavior after. We change behavior by changing the process that would happen before.” Don’t we want to focus on the before? And that doesn’t make sense by focusing on the after. So that’s the biggest thing. So what would help? Well, I wonder what my good kid would need to not jump on the couch after I asked.

 If I assume he’s a good kid having a hard time, not a bad kid doing bad things… 

To me, both of these Podcasts are speaking about seeing both ourselves and others as "good".

Begin there.

Dr. Becky ended one of the Podcasts with this exercise which I find sooooooo tender and a KEY PARENTING SKILL. She says:

"So I think right now, if you think about something that you hold with a lot of shame, right? It’s something you did today, it’s something you did years ago, it’s some moment or behavior you remember and you’re like, it just feels that awful shame feeling. Then, form this fill-in-the-blank sentence with it. 

I’m a good person who xxx xxxx. 

So mine might be, I’m a good person who yelled at my kids this morning. 

That formula I find is the simplest way to remind your body that who I am as a person inside is separate from this thing or this decision or this behavior that I really don’t feel proud of.

At Wonder Studio we talk about it being a Non-Judgement Zone.

Not judging ourselves, our kids, or the other kids/caregivers.

This helps us all to feel safe and to learn who we truly are inside. 


Let me know your thoughts!

Ten Percent Happier Podcasts

#489. Can You Really Conquer Hatred Through Love? | Father Gregory Boyle

We Can Do Hard Things Podcast with Glennon Doyle

Breaking cycles and Reparenting yourselves with Dr. Becky

How to Raise Untamed Kids with Dr. Becky

Monday, September 12, 2022

Wonder Seekers and Finders - Week 1 at Wonder Studio.

This past week at a Sunday sunrise Open Water Swim, we had another First Timer. I LOVE having first timers join me in adventures. I LOVE being a first timer too…well sometimes, LOL!

Before we got started, she shared her fears, concerns, and nervousness. I really appreciated the reminder that this was something new for her. Something that put her outside her normal comfort zone. When you have done something multiple times, newness can sort of fall away, and it can be a struggle to appreciate the beauty behind why you started in the first place. During our first times, we have little expectations and a high level of concentration. We notice every detail, and our minds and bodies are super sensitive and we have a heightened sense of awareness. 

Gosh, it’s really amazing. That sense of surprise and Wonder.

As we got going with our swim and we checked in at the 500 yard mark..I could see that her fears had gone and a fire had been ignited. This is the joy of life, I think. To witness someone’s life change before your very eyes. To see fear transformed into joy. 

The next thing that happens can be like this…


My daughter just joined the Cross Country team at her high school. The daily practices in the heat and the five or 6 miles a day is Brutal. At first, you can struggle to want to keep doing this. One could possibly feel that they are not good at this. And, the truth is, they aren’t. Haha.

The Juniors and the Seniors are making it look easy. You think, “I will never be able to do that.”

And, then one day, maybe even a year later. You are doing it and it’s now something beyond brutal. 

It’s still hard and tiring but there’s enjoyment in running in the mud, you can trust your body, you feel like you could run for days. You begin to see that there is a cycle in things.

You learn about yourself…how effort, time, and repetition, and good teammates and coaches build successes. But more than success. A joy.

Sustainable Joy.

As with sports, Wonder Studio is like this too.

We can appreciate how some of the children are fresh in the “water”, others are in the repetition phase, and a few are in the Sustainable joy phase. 

I just love and appreciate how important each phase is.

And, some will cycle through all the phases in ONE class!!

And, through their lives and our lives, we see these cycles. 

We are looking forward to a great Fall session and our deepest wish is to witness those “fires ignited”. Wonder Seekers and Finders. 

Let us go.

Let us go.

Always, let us know if you have questions or comments about Your Little First Timers!! We love any and all feedback that is offered in Kindness.

Monday, October 25, 2021

Does your face light up?

Dear Wonder'ers,

A few thoughts going into week 8... Sometimes it takes years and years before we can see or hear from our children how our parenting has affected them.

My 10 year old son recently has been a carline safety patrol at his school.

This has been so important to him. He loves helping his peers and the younger students into their cars each afternoon.

The other day he came home and said, "Mom, thanks for always smiling when you pick me up from school." He explained that he has noticed many parents are on their phones or don't acknowledge their children when they get into the car.

I'm not telling you this story to brag because I promise you there have been plenty of times I have been a distracted parent.... but I will tell you one of the most important things I heard years ago that I think of almost everyday.

From Brene Brown's Website:

Oprah said, “Toni says a beautiful thing about the messages that we get about who we are when a child first walks into a room,” and she asked her to talk about it.

Toni Morrison explained that it’s interesting to watch what happens when a child walks into a room. She asked, “Does your face light up?”

She explained, “When my children used to walk in the room when they were little, I looked at them to see if they had buckled their trousers or if their hair was combed or if their socks were up. You think your affection and your deep love is on display because you’re caring for them. It’s not. When they see you, they see the critical face. What’s wrong now?”

Her advice was simple, but paradigm-shifting for me. She said:

“Let your face speak what’s in your heart. When they walk in the room my face says I’m glad to see them. It’s just as small as that, you see?”

I remember seeing this conversation on the Oprah show way before I had children of my own, maybe even before I was a teacher. But, this has always remained my goal each and every encounter with a child, whether it's my own children or yours.

It's why the greeting at Wonder Studio is so very important to me, I want your child to see me so very GLAD to see them. It doesn't matter to me at all if they hide or are shy or even ignore me.

We can't hold ourselves to perfection and I won't promise it, but this is an aspiration I put into my daily life.

I am trying more and more to apply this to more than just children... how am I when I see my own parents, my friends, my husband?

Am I slowing down enough to honor the people I am interacting with.

This morning, I had to stop for a new car battery, I got out my phone to scroll while I waited for the person to install a new one. Then, I stopped, put my phone away and silently wished this person well who was installing a car battery. I didn't say much but I decided I would be "THERE" with her. I'm not sure what it did for her, but I know it did me a world of good.

Monday, October 11, 2021

The Eyes of Children : Child -Led Learning at Wonder Studio

Dear Wonder-ers,
I am fascinated by the eyes of children as they enter Wonder Studio. Some go to the first spot their eyes land on and they immediately engage.

Some children carefully look at each area as they slowly walk to the bathroom to wash their hands. And, some children look down or at their caregiver, as they anticipate the social interaction they might have as they enter. 

I could describe about 100 more ways that children cross the threshold of Wonder. It's my first introduction to the learning style and interest of each child.

The entrance of the adults at Wonder Studio is also fascinating to me. Some of the adults are just as excited to see the choices as the children are. 

Sometimes, all the choices at Wonder Studio can seem like a "To-Do" list. 
Let's start here and make our way around to all the experiences. 

This is NOT my intention in arranging this environment. 

In Reggio Emilia, Italy, where I participated in an International Study program in 2019...
the teachers carefully prepare the learning spaces for children in order to "provoke" learning experiences. 

For example, sometimes the provocation is social based, meaning, the teachers are researching how this experience may allow for deeper social interaction between children. 

Other times, the teachers arrange an experience to provoke storytelling or an exploration of color.

In Reggio and also at Wonder Studio and places where we are researching the best ways that young children learn...teachers and caregivers understand that children are most engaged and learn the most when the environment allows for:
1. Independence
2. Connection
3. Purpose
4. Open-Ended ideas
5. JOY

So, while I offer many choices for children at Wonder Studio, it's not so each child can do each experience. 

Instead, my intention is for each child to have enough options to "choose" from. 

I believe it's so important for children to find their "SPARK".

More and more researchers are understanding that we find our passion and sparks in our childhood and that knowing these can lead to a happier life.

Sometimes, we feel very literal about things.

For example, imagine a child playing at the Wind Tunnel for the entire Wonder Studio time. 

Does that mean, they will be a Nasa Rocket Scientist?
Well, MAYBE!! 

But, if we spend those 30 minutes observing the child, we can begin to see what it is that truly sparks them.

Could be...the mechanics of the wind itself....
but perhaps it's the joy of social interaction with other children or adults.

And, on a deeper level, it's very possible that the aesthetic, internal, felt sense of watching the leaves lifting up through the wind tunnel and falling on the ground...offers your child nourishment, pleasure, Peace, even a calming of their nervous system.

So, allowing the child to decide what they need, what they desire, what is interesting to them, could be the most important thing we can do as caregivers, while at Wonder Studio.

And, yes, there are also times when it's ok to help a child choose or move can read more about that in the blog below (link is below) or we can talk about it in class.
Have a great week!

What is Child-Led Learning?

Shannon Booth Lipan
B.A.E, M.Ed
Expressive Arts Facilitator:
Level 1 and 2 Training in progress with Expressive Arts Florida
Owner, Director, Curriculum Designer, Lead Teacher of
The Wonder Studio

text/phone: 727-667-4090
see our blog:

Monday, October 4, 2021

"Forcing Sharing is NOT sharing."

 Heading into Week 5...

It's time to talk about the dreaded.....SHARING.

I will be referencing the Wonder Studio Sharing Agreement which is posted here:

This is a big topic and I wanted to bring in Kindergarten Teacher Expert, Wonder Studio Teacher, and a Wonder Studio MAMA - Megan. Thankfully she really brought her whole experience to this challenging topic. 

I hope you will find her post open, honest, and professional viewpoint helpful!

Hello! It’s Megan here, adding a little personal parenting experience to this blog post on Our Agreement on Sharing. So, to be completely honest, this topic hits home because my son, my sweet, caring, always sharing at home with me son, is not quite the sharer at The Wonder Studio. This is really really hard for me...not him, ME! Many feelings overwhelm me in the moment even though I know I am in a judgement free zone. I feel nervous and anxious thinking others are judging or questioning my parenting while making assumptions about his character. I feel embarrassed and often shocked that he is taking something from another child. I feel desperate for him to do anything else, wander to any other area, sneeze, need to go potty….anything other than take the toy. Ahhhhhh! I could go on and on. It’s just uncomfortable. Again, it’s worth noting, it’s uncomfortable for me.

So, as a first time mom, I have read about this topic. Then read some more. Then I watched videos. All because I wanted to learn about what is developmentally appropriate for him in regard to sharing. What I have learned is that it’s okay for him not to share. (HUGE SIGH OF RELIEF!) 
He isn’t developmentally expected to understand this concept at this time. The real way he will learn to share is for me to step out and let him play. Let him engage with other children without interruption. Let him and the other children negotiate these social situations on their own. Let him solve problems. Let him experience conflict. Let him experiment with social behaviors. Let him play. Let him learn.

You see, for him this sharing or not sharing thing is play. And play is learning. It’s him learning how to interact with others. It’s him learning how to get the really cool digger from the sand table that he wants, even if someone else is actively playing with it. It may be uncomfortable for me, but it’s not necessarily uncomfortable for him.

These quotes helped me build my understanding of sharing when it comes to toddlers:

“Following the RIE approach, we start with the least amount of help and intervention and then slowly increase it. We do expect and trust that even infants eventually learn most by working out conflicts all by themselves. If every time adults jump in and bring in their version of what is right, the children learn either to depend on them or to defy them. The more we trust they can solve, the more they do learn to solve.” Magda Gerber, Dear Parent: Caring For Infants With Respect

“When we make a child share, it is not sharing.” -Magda Gerber

These articles/videos also aided me on my journey to understand what my child is learning while he may not be sharing:

The S Word - Children Learning to Shar - Janet Lansbury

These Toddlers Are Not Sharing - Janet Lansbury

Sharing is Caring? - Canadian ECE

Baby Teamwork (Sharing Because They Want To) - Janet Lansbury

I hope this helps you as much as it did me. Oh and if you see me taking deep breaths while watching my son take a toy he really wants from another’s my way of coping with the situation while trusting my son will learn to share when he is developmentally ready to do so!

Monday, September 20, 2021

Creating Spaces that Protect Creativity

 Creativity and Non-Judgement: Week 2 of Wonder Studio

I have a fierce protective instinct for a child's right to creativity. Actually, I have this instinct for adults too.
For so many years, I have heard adults come into Wonder Studio and say to me, "I don't have a creative bone in my body." "I am not creative." "I am not an artist." 

Sometimes, I am confused by this "story" that the "non-creatives" are telling me. Perhaps, our view of creativity is quite different. I believe that creativity has become an "achievement" that some people feel they either have or don't have. That unless they have an art piece in an art museum, they cannot say they have captured the prize of creativity.

For me, creativity is a value I hold. It's an essential part of my life along with part of who I am and like kindness or requires my commitment to it each day. 

What stops us from the practice of creativity?

I think Judgement is a big factor. I so often hear people's stories of creative trauma. Often, people joke about it..."I was kicked out of choir." "My sister is the artist in the family." 
"I'm just not good at art." 

I know many of these folks bring their children to Wonder Studio because they want something different for their little ones. They want their child to feel the freedom of creativity.
They desire children to have opportunities to "think outside the box."
Somehow, it's too late for me, but my child can have the access that I never did.

This is a big part of why I am teaching Adult Expressive Arts classes...I see the empowerment and confidence that comes with writing a poem, arranging nature, painting a mandala, shaping clay. Acts of creation change us, release us, allow us to reach into an inner well of strength and courage.

But, creativity can be extremely vulnerable and we forget that with our children (and with each other). For example, me writing these words and sending them out to you, is an act of creating that can have overwhelming effects of  2nd guessing myself and worry. But, I promise you, all it takes is one little Positive acknowledgement or knowing that I have impacted 1 person (positively) that keeps me motivated to keep going.

We can do that for our children (and our friends). All they need is a judgement free attitude from the ones around them...a nod, a smile, Eyes that say "Wow" I am here with you and I SEE you.

Acknowledgement...witnessing...this is how we protect creativity.
We don't always get it right, believe me! But we commit to trying each day.

Heading into week 3 of Wonder!
Check out this past blog on Judgement. 
An oldie but a goodie: Judgement Free Zone
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