Upon entering the front door you will find yourself in the immensely popular gym. This large space is nearly 2,500 square feet and provides many diverse activities for the children.
The Gym is the MOST popular area of our facility because it meets the children’s need to move! The gym has a padded gymnastic floor for safety reasons and to give the children extra bounce. In addition, we have a variety of large mats and gymnastics equipment used to build obstacle courses and practice gymnastic and gross motor skills.
Besides running, jumping, balancing, tumbling and climbing, the children often use the gym as the landscape of their imaginative play. In the afterschool program, the school age children often clear the gym of the mats or set them up to provide barriers for organized games such as Dodge Ball or Capture the Flag.
Children build muscles, strength, co-ordination, endurance and large motor skills while playing and participating in activities in the gym.
Children practice problem solving skills with their peers.
Children learn the dynamics and courtesy of structured and unstructured group play.
The Boat offers many opportunities for sensory and imaginative play. The twelve foot boat is filled with six inch foam blocks. The boat, used for many high sea adventures, has traveled around the world in many a child’s imagination. The foam blocks inside the boat are used to build within and outside of the boat.
Social interactions through imaginative play in the boat are often complex and involved
Soft block play gives children practice with building, stacking, sorting and counting
Putting the blocks back in the boat provides valuable lessons in self-discipline and teamwork
The boat provides solitude for children needing a quiet, thoughtful place to relax
The Basketball Area
The basketball area is a 25 by 25 foot square area that is really a multipurpose space, mostly used for a variety of ball games. Not only is it a basketball court, but it can also be a volleyball, wall ball and badminton court. It turns into soccer, kickball and baseball fields hosting exciting t-ball games with many homeruns hit over the giraffe’s head. Foursquare games are very popular with the school age crowd and everyone loves to bowl and navigate the cone obstacles on the scooter boards. Of course, we can’t forget how this large open space is a favorite for dancing, moving to music and parachute play too!
Repetitive practice and play with balls increases eye-hand coordination and skill proficiency.
Children learn the rules and basic skills of playground games and team sports.
Children learn and practice good sportsmanship.
Children create neural connections, pathways between cells in the brain, when they actively participate in musical experiences.
Creative Play SpacePuppets, dress up clothes, masks and capes are available for the children to use as props in their imaginative play while playing in the gym areas.
Books, games, manipulatives and puzzles are available for children who are seeking a quiet break from the excitement of active play in the gym or basketball area.
While using supplies from the recycle art center, children learn the importance of conservation by reusing items before sending them to the landfills.
Children learn to interpret the physical and emotional needs of their bodies when they have opportunities for both active and quiet play.
Children often feel free to imitate, practice and re-enact emotions, tasks, experiences and routines behind a mask or through a puppet. Improved language, social skills and confidence are often associated with imaginative play.