Wow! Final update- that feels so good to write! We did it! And by 'we', I mean the amazing contractors from both Earthscapes and EDC Designs. The playground has been completed and has passed the playground inspection (with only one minor alteration post-inspection). I think it is just the most perfect natural playscape; let me take you on a quick tour!
First, we start out at the easel, perfect for drawing and creating outdoors - and big enough that the educators can comfortably draw with the children!
Next we have our stump table with log chairs, located right by the Infant playground. Just perfect for enjoying all the yummy creations that come out of the mud kitchen!
Next we have a three-log bench natural sitting area, meant to enjoy books, music, conversation, and, most importantly, children’s play!
Following the path around the playscape, we come to what some may call the main attraction: our slide and climbing wall structure. I absolutely adore how it has been built into the natural hill that was in the playground. This structure, I have to say, is one of my most favourite design elements of the new playscape. Everything about it has been made with he intention of climbing, balancing, and encouraging the children to push their physical limits and explore using their entire body.
Adjacent to the climbing structure is a four-post hiding hut. This hiding hut has been a hit with the toddlers since they’ve started using the playground - PEEKABOO!
As we continue down the (snow covered) path, you'll notice that there a little clusters of wooden posts of varying sizes. These posts, just like the climber, are there to encourage to the children to explore, climb, balance, and engage their critical thinking skills.
Now we come to my absolute favourite aspect of the playscape: the outdoor mud kitchen... or more accurately given the current state, a snow kitchen! This aspect encourages the children to create, concoct, and explore, and of course it encourages the children to get messy... which is why it is my most favourite aspect.
When children are engaging with their whole body it means that they are learning and developing their whole body, and after almost 20 years in child care, I can confirm is most visible by how messy and dirty they become!
That’s it! That’s a Cheryl tour of the Toddlers Natural Playscape, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did and I encourage everyone to come on down to the Toddler playground to check it out in person.
Thank you all again for your patience, understanding, and encouragement over these last two months. It’s so great to hear that all of you are loving the changes as much as I am.
Cheers to happy and healthy (and relatively renovation-free) New Year,