Research shows that children who spend extended unstructured time in the outdoors gain many, many benefits. Just a few of those benefits include greater cognitive growth, fewer behavior problems, decreased obesity, better social skills, and reduced anxiety. We have been working hard to transform our playground into a true outdoor learning center and are excited about the strides that we have made.
In addition to traditional climbing structures and riding toys, we have added construction zones complete with lots of open ended building materials (children can often be found building forts and hide-outs), musical instruments for impromptu performances on our outdoor stage, art easels, weaving looms, open ended water pumps, large scale magnetic walls to be used with ramps for discovering concepts such as slope and gravity, a mud kitchen for making mud pies, a woodworking area, and much more. (CDO has a scaled down version of this to meet the needs of the younger child.)
All children at ECP get to experience this wonderful outdoor area daily, so dress your children accordingly!