Bellevue Heights’ New Playground Helps Children Learn through Play
When we watch children playing together on a playground, we see smiling faces, laughter and enjoyment as they climb obstacles, push swings and slide. But what we can’t see as easily is the critical development naturally taking place.
“A child’s physical, social, emotional, and language development plays a critical role in his or hers success at school,” said Susan LaFex, a Bellevue Heights board member, adjunct instructor at Le Moyne College and a former teacher in the Westhill School District. “That development happens on a playground in a very natural way.”
Bellevue Heights Nursery School, which embraces the learning-through-play model, recently renovated its playground to provide an enhanced space for its children to interact with one another and have fun. New features give children the opportunity to build dexterity through climbing and engage the senses by playing with their peers at a new sandbox and sensory table. A walking path focuses on texture for hands-on learning, water play stations collect rain water from the roof into barrels and a gardening station helps teach sustainable practices.
The playground aims to be a hub for all children in the Strathmore neighborhood on the southwest side of Syracuse to play, in addition to students at the school.
Construction was completed in a day with the assistance of numerous volunteers. A Community Foundation grant helped pay for the equipment and supplies. The grant was awarded from the Shirley F. Aubrey Fund, created to support programs benefiting children.
“Bellevue Heights encourages children to develop and learn at their own rates through play.” said LaFex. ”We are happy to create an environment for them to be able to grow, learn, discover and stimulate their interests.”
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To learn more about Bellevue Heights Nursery School, visit their website.