Marissa GOULD, intern
Among the programs offered at the La Crescenta Presbyterian Center for Children is its vibrant after school program for children in kindergarten through eighth grade. The after school program utilizes the facilities’ classrooms and playground creating an educational and fun experience for the kids. Recently, the playground got a facelift through the donation of new play equipment.
The equipment – Imagination Playground – was donated by Kidspace in Pasadena. Unlike conventional play equipment, the configuration of the Imagination Playground can be changed every time kids hit the tarmac. The components are oversized, lightweight blocks made of foam that the children can arrange to create their own play experience. So every time the blocks come out, something new is created. If one day, for example, the children decide that a fort isn’t fun anymore, they can easily switch around the blocks to make a stage.
Imagination Playground also is a creative way to teach children how the world around them works. Some of the older kids have built tracks to roll balls down. It seems simple, but the children are learning about how gravity works. Teamwork is another important element that comes onto the playing field. The children generally work together to build whatever they want, typically solving problems like how to make a fort with all those blue blocks.