Our Story

The Playful Space: Creativity. Play. Connection.

Welcome to The Playful Space...that spot in your heart craving creativity, play, and connection! The Playful Space was born as a personal creative outlet as I struggled with postpartum depression in 2019. I found it extremely difficult to tap into my creative self as I tried to heal and raise a tiny human! Through art therapy and a personal retreat with Jessi Reinhart of InHer Compass, I discovered that in order to heal I needed to feel connected to my community, creatively express myself on a daily basis, and make time for play and rest.

During the darkest time of my life, these daily commitments to myself bloomed into a business of connecting and sharing the gift of play and creativity with others. Self-discovery, hands-on exploration, process art, and open-ended play are key components of our offerings. Now in our 2nd year in business, The Playful Space has impacted hundreds of women and their families with our workshops, retreats, and community events. I hope to create and connect with you soon! 

With gratitude,


Emily Hay was born and raised in Bakersfield, CA. She attended Cal Poly SLO where she developed a passion for play based learning and visual arts. She has served families in Chicago, San Francisco, and Vancouver B.C., but her heart is in her hometown. She holds a teaching credential specializing in creating curriculum adaptations for students with moderate/severe disabilities. Her curious, resilient students taught her all about the beauty of hands-on experiences to heal and learn and that imperfections are what make us unique and interesting! She is in her element out in nature, camping, hiking, or on a patio with a cocktail! She is a mama to Tommy and Suzy and lives on Tejon Ranch, CA with her husband Ben and too many dogs and horses to list here!

She enjoys karaoke, poppies, a perfect avocado, Yosemite Valley, snail mail, and celebrating little things. Paint sticks are her favorite art supply. The Playful Space is her work of heART.


Meet Bonnie! Bonnie was born in Pennsylvania and moved to Texas when she was 2. She lived in Texas her whole life until she moved to Bakersfield in July 2020. She has been married to her Prince Charming, Christopher, for 27 years and they have an Australian Shepherd named Sadie. Bonnie received her Associate degree in Early Childhood Education in 2013 at the age of 46. In August of 2021 Bonnie discovered TPS on Instagram and reached out to Emily about her workshops. Since then, she has attended workshops, participated in Coffee & Creativity, and enjoyed the Shaver Lake retreat. When Bonnie isn’t getting messy with The Playful Space, she enjoys traveling, reading, doing puzzles, crafting, and chasing sunsets.