The Best Practice: Create Diverse Spaces and Activities
"Space has varied, multi-sensory experiences (e.g., music, art, water, soil, etc.) to encourage creative and diverse play experiences. Children’s art is intentionally included in the space."
The Place: Pullen Park
Pullen Park was established in 1887, making it the 5th oldest operating amusement park in the US and the 16th oldest in the world. With 66.4 acres to explore, Pullen Park offers many different types of activities that accommodate all ages. These activities include:
- Plenty of space to run around, picnic, fly kites, and play family games.
- A playground that features sand and water play, music wall, climbing, swings, areas that can accommodate multiple aged children, and accessibility built in throughout.
- A train for families to ride on together and explore the park in a unique and fun way.
- The lake is a peaceful atmosphere with lots of trees and plants that also features pedal boats.
- A carousel and kiddie boats for children to ride.
- Theater In The Park is a fully accessible indoor theater with performances year around.
- The Art Center offers opportunities for individuals of all ages to engage with art and create masterpieces.
- The Aquatic Center features a therapy pool and a lap pool.
- There are tennis courts and baseball fields.
With so many diverse spaces and activities located in one place, families have opportunities to engage with each other in the atmosphere that best suits their family needs. This allows for relationship building and strengthening.
At Pullen Park, you can find many of The Kaleidoscope Project’s best practices in action, including enhancing accessibility and inclusion, using nature to nurture, building positive relationships, and creating diverse spaces and activities.
Creating Diverse Spaces and Activities Supports These Key Early Childhood Mental Health and Development Tasks:
- Mastery and
- Positive peer and
Give It A Try:
You don't need 66 acres to demonstrate diverse spaces or activities. This can be done in small spaces, as well. It just takes a little imagination!
Here are some tips to get you started in creating a fun a diverse space:
- Identify a location that will work best for your needs.
- Think about how the space will be used: multi-purpose room (multiple program use) or a single purpose room (dedicated play space). This will impact the design and layout.
- Include a wide range of activities, such as reading nooks, sensory toys, building blocks, indoor/outdoor plants, imaginative play, and art making.
- Provide seating and space for caregivers so that they can get in on the fun with the little ones.
For more tips, refer to the Best Practices and our Pinterest Page.
Learn From The Experts:
Natural Learning Initiative