Playtime at the Park: Make it Meaningful!
Wed, August 31, 2016
Kids skipped from one colorful hopscotch square to the next as others further down took turns jumping like frogs, pointing to interesting plants along the wooded trail and exploring the literacy kits they’d just been handed at the start of the path.
It was a scene straight out of a storybook at Bargaintown Park in Egg Harbor Township, as community members and children assembled to open a new Born Learning Trail and explore this new and exciting way to play! While we may not immediately consider the local playground as early learning environments, community parks are so much more than simply places to play: they are places to learn, to experience, to build connections and to establish community.
The Born Learning Trail at Bargtaintown Park was built by Spencer’s and Spirit Halloween Community Action Team volunteers in early May as part of a company-wide Day of Caring volunteer project. Volunteers carefully painted the alphabet along the trail, installed signs that offer learning tips for parents and their children to follow as they walk through the park, and planted bright, pink flowers at each stopping point.
The ribbon cutting ceremony gave community members the chance to experience the volunteers’ hard work firsthand. Children snipped their way through the construction-paper ribbon, eager to get out on the trail and turn just another Monday morning at the park into a new chance to bond and learn together.
By giving parents and caregivers a place to allow children to explore in nature, recognize shapes, colors, and sounds and invent stories about the things they see, the Born Learning Trail fosters quality learning opportunities for children so that they can be prepared to continue to develop and succeed, from cradle to career. It’s just one more way we’re changing lives and strengthening communities, one child, one adult and one family at a time.