We’re happy to report that we recently upgraded our play yard at our Downtown Milwaukee Ebenezer Child Care Center. The outdoor improvements are aimed at helping the children enrolled in our Downtown Center to better connect with nature while learning through creative play outside. Our staff worked closely with the great design team at Design4Kids to make this project reality.
The play yard now includes an extended concrete walk and trike path with a segment around a new grass covered hill having a built-in slide, climbing ramp and stump steps. Dramatic play features including a play store, fuel pump, a repurposed stroller now imagined as a bus, train or airplane, a tipi-like shelter and garage for parking the trikes are now located along the trike path to enrich and encourage active physical play. The new tipi shelter is also strategically located near a raised bed garden so it can serve as a trellis for climbing plants during the summer.
The outdoor play area also now features a play-stage that has a unique wooden backdrop and includes music play items at both ends of the stage. A log play-house add to the fun options as well as a new sand play area that has shade sails around it for protection from the summer sun. Two areas that have stump circles are designed for small group gatherings, storytelling and reading.
To support upper body and large motor development and to challenge the older children, an overhead climber with a balance walk of rubber “mushrooms” has been added.
Near the child care center building, you’ll find a water-sensory play table with rubber tile under-surfacing. Also adjacent the building, a secure play space for infants and toddlers has been developed to allow young children the opportunity to be outside, playing near older children, but separate enough for protection from boisterous, active older children. This area also features a rubber tile surface to provide a friendly stable surface for crawlers and beginning walkers.
Finally, trees and plantings are used throughout the site to provide shade and an increased connection with nature. The children are using and enjoying the yard already but we think it is safe to say that everyone is looking forward to warmer weather next spring with the new trees and plants sprouting and more time exploring all the new play opportunities.
Thanks to Design4Kids for your expertise!