Ridgefield woman goes from teacher to children’s party planner with her Silly Goose business

RIDGEFIELD - Town resident and former elementary school teacher Kate Haase-MacDonald said she has always had a “silly, lighthearted side.”

She said her personality, combined with her passion as an activities coordinator, was what motivated her to open a multi-sensory business she named Silly Goose.

Silly Goose

caters to local families seeking a fun, creative gathering for their children.

As part of the business, along with hosting playdates at her Ridgefield home, Haase-MacDonald frequently travels to local homes to fulfill children’s party wishes.

For example, if a family were to call Haase-MacDonald requesting a birthday party for a child who loves bugs and “The Lion King,” Haase-MacDonald would brainstorm a fun party that would incorporate both those loves.

“Everyone can find something to engage with and everyone walks away happy, so that’s my goal,” Haase-MacDonald said.

Haase-MacDonald conceived of the idea for the business while reflecting on her own childhood. She said her favorite memories weren’t focused on the money her mother spent on her birthday parties, but rather on the activities her mother planned to make the parties fun.

From London Bridges and other familiar favorites, Haase-MacDonald said, “All of the games I played as a child were my favorite memories, and I kind of wanted to bring them back.”

Instead of having children on devices or using screentime for entertainment, she said she loves the “old school” feeling of being able to connect through games and activities.

Haase-MacDonald said her desire to start the business was also fueled by her 22 years as a volunteer at Camp Viva, a program offered through Family Services of Westchester for children and families affected by HIV/AIDS.

As for her new business’s namesake, Haase-MacDonald said Silly Goose was inspired by her daughter Mia Ferranti. When her first husband Michael Ferranti died in 2017, she said Mia was one who could make her smile: “I always called her my ‘silly goose.’”

Before hatching Silly Goose, Haase-MacDonald spent 21 years working as an elementary school teacher, with 16 years teaching in the Bronx and five years at The Windward School in Westchester, N.Y.

During her time at the Bronx school, she oversaw and ran a summer camp to provide children with a place to go in the summertime.

Along with giving the children a safe environment in which they could have fun and be creative, Haase-MacDonald said she loved all the activities taught at the camp .

She said the camp she oversaw was “run downwith a blacktop that was falling apart,” so she and the children would come up with creative games using pool noodles; play variations of dodgeball using beachballs; and take part in different crafts.

Following her husband’s death, Haase-MacDonald switched from coordinating summer camp activities to focusing on her work at The Windward School.

“It was too much for me to do the camp ... because I had a daughter at home and couldn’t leave her in the summer,” she said.

Haase-MacDonald later met and married Devin MacDonald, and together with Mia, they moved to Ridgefield in February 2021. Haase-MacDonald was teaching at The Windward School until last year when she decided to take a year off following the birth of her son, Jack MacDonald.

With time, Haase-MacDonald realized she enjoyed being an activities coordinator, finding out what children like doing and putting that into play throughout the year.

She said her husband told her to follow her dreams of doing activities and encouraged her to “take the year and really make it into something.”

Silly Goose began with Mia’s friends coming over to her house to bake, do arts and crafts and connect with one another over activities..

While Haase-MacDonald doesn’t have a storefront for her business yet, she said she’d eventually like to have a place to house Silly Goose. In the meantime, she said she’s trying to figure out all the kinks.

“I absolutely enjoy being able to do what I love, whether it’s kids coming over and having a playdate or just being silly and having a good time,” she said. “This is something I love to do… and I feel this is my purpose.”

Though Silly Goose is still in its infancy, Haase-MacDonald says she’s been very lucky with how her business is grown through referrals and word-of-mouth. Looking toward the future, she said her long-term goal is to use her coordinating abilities to either work in a nursing home where she’d organize different projects and activities for seniors, or coordinate activities for children with special needs.

Haase-MacDonald can best be reached by calling 914-310-0273.