Monday, March 28, 2011

Art: Weaving Panel (Part 4 of 4)

The Adventurous Child likes to create products and equipment that are multipurpose in nature. A great example of this is our weaving panel: It encourages artistic development, use of prepositional phrases, and it promotes cooperative play!

Children can intertwine various materials through a weaving panel, such as ribbon, yarn and string. This unique piece of children’s playground equipment allows children to use their imaginations to create an artistic design with the weaving materials. Using a weaving panel demonstrates directional words (in, out, on, off, here and there) as well as spatial relationships with objects (over, under, beside and through). Children can work independently or they can work cooperatively by passing the material back and forth through a weaving panel.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Art: Easel (Part 3 of 4)

After discussing the colors that are being produced by the wheel, encourage your children to paint a picture with some (or all!) of those colors on an easel. Even better: a double-sided easel allows children to socialize and work with one another while drawing, painting and writing. Our extra wide outdoor art easel allows two children to paint side-by-side, or gives children the opportunity to paint from the back side while other children paint from the front side. This helps develop cooperative and parallel play, and assists in developing greater social interaction skills. One of our favorite preschool art ideas is to have a child stand on one side of the art easel and have another child trace their outline or shadow. Soon you will have an entire classroom of Da Vincis and Michaelangelos!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Art: Color Wheel (Part 2 of 4)

The whole world, as we experience it visually, comes to us through the mystic realm of color.Hans Hofmann - Artist

Consider adding a color wheel to your outdoor classroom. Its unique design allows children to mix sunlight with primary colors to create secondary colors. One of the wheels remains in a fixed position while the other wheel turns. As the child turns the wheel and the light shines through, different colors are created. For example, when the light flashes through the yellow and blue sections, green is produced.

The color wheel is a great addition to your outdoor classroom. After discussing color with your children, encourage them to draw or paint pictures displaying their favorite hues. On Thursday we’re going to take a look at The Adventurous Child’s art easel – the next great step for budding artists!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Art (Part 1 of 4)

Art is not just ornamental, an enhancement of life. It is a path in itself, a way out of the predictable and conventional... a map to self discovery. (Gabrielle Roth)

To wrap up our series on fine arts, we’re going to look at visual art this week. The Adventurous Child wants to help you create a wonderful outdoor “studio” for discussing and creating art with your children. Studying art is integral to teaching children about color, perspective, composition, and encouraging imagination and passion. As Gabrielle Roth said, art is “a map to self discovery.” With a few pieces of equipment, you will give your children all the tools they need to learn about the world and themselves.

On Monday we are going to look at the color wheel… but if you’re ready to mix some colors today, just click here!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Infants and Toddlers: Toddler Climber (Part 4 of 4)

As I mentioned recently, infants and toddlers need separate play areas from each other and from older children. Toddlers may be more ready for a playground that requires climbing (see below), but they still need manageable heights and closeness between platforms.

The climber below is tricked out with all kinds of fun things to do. Check it out….

  • Tunnels for play that teach the concepts over, under, behind, beside, and inside

  • Dual slide for enjoying the company of a friend

  • ADA entrance and stairs that allow easy access for all children, regardless of their abilities

  • Lower ground deck for two levels of play

The Adventurous Child is committed to building playgrounds that are age-appropriate. Contact us here if you have any questions. We would love to hear from you!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Infants and Toddlers: Infant Play Corner (Part 3 of 4)

According to “Babies on the Move” by Rae Pica in Young Children (July 2010), experiences and opportunities to move may be more important for infants than for older children. Here’s why: “… Beginning in infancy, physical movement plays a vital role in the creation of nerve cell networks that are actually the core of learning…. [M]ovement, because it activates the neural wiring throughout the body, makes the entire body – not just the brain – an instrument of learning” (Pica, 2010, p. 48).

A special play corner designed for your infants will activate their brains and bodies. An Infant Play Corner provides different activities for infants to do while crawling on an open-ended surface that is not tactily defensive to the children’s senses. Included are a bubble panel, a ball drop panel, a mirror panel with bar, and a shape spinner panel. Each activity panel is the perfect height for someone just learning to stand, or for someone who’s content to sit in front of the mirror or ball drop panel.

On Monday, we’ll wrap up this series by taking a look at toddler climbers. (Too eager too wait? Click here.) Ready, set, go!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Infants and Toddlers: Infant Play Gazebo (Part 2 of 4)

The Adventurous Child simply cannot get enough of Young Children magazine! Recently I read an article about infancy demands for a responsive approach to care (July 2006). The following passage really spoke to me:

“Development is a continuous process through which a child gradually grows and changes. But as early childhood professionals we need to keep in mind that each developmental period has its own challenges and opportunities. As brain development research has reached the general public, most of us have become aware of the infant period as an important time when neural pathways that influence learning and development are formed” (Lally & Mangione, 2006, p. 14; italics mine).

The hexagonal Infant Play Gazebo provides five different activities for infants to do while crawling on a rubber surface. The heights of the panels are set so that an infant pulling herself up can see over the panel into the real world. The best activities are those that interact with the senses, such as: a sound panel, a ball drop panel, a mirror panel with cruising bar, a shape spinner panel, a bubble panel, and a gate. These activities will stimulate infants’ neural pathways and at the same time, delight their senses and occupy their interest. Who knows – the gazebo may occupy you as well!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Infants and Toddlers (Part 1 of 4)

According to the states’ early learning standards, infants and toddlers need different kinds of playgrounds and classrooms than older children. Infants and toddlers are smaller than preschool-age children, and need to be able to reach their activities and toys easily. They are also far more vulnerable to heights and flying objects, which is why day cares and schools are required to have separate outdoor play areas for their younger friends.

At The Adventurous Child, we are devoted to designing, manufacturing, and installing playgrounds for children six months through six years of age. We also understand that infants and toddlers need different kinds of playgrounds than older children. Infant and toddler play areas are some of our most popular! Check back with us on Monday as we look at some of those corners and gazebos which are perfect for your children.