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New playscape a natural fit for kids

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

Woodinville Family Preschool celebrates a playground renovation

Friends of Woodinville Family Preschool were invited to a playground celebration September 10  to celebrate the transformation of the preschool’s outdoor play space into an innovative natural playscape designed specifically with young children in mind.

“The outdoor learning environment is as critical for child development as the indoor classroom,” explains the school’s founding director Cecile Mielenz. “Our vision is to create an innovative and inspirational space for children that embraces nature, engages all the senses and fosters exploration, investigation and discovery.”

Guided by landscape architect Leon Smith the school added plenty of natural play value for little ones.

And what do kids like?

“Young children are extremely guided by their senses,” says the school’s outdoor curriculum specialist Jodi Spitalli. “They’re especially drawn to loose parts, such as rocks, sticks, dirt and leaves, which hold constructive play value for them and appeal to their senses.”

The new playground will offer plenty of opportunities for such manipulative play, as well as hills, pathways, gardens, native plants and trees to fill the senses and satisfy large motor play.

Generous donations from community partners made the transformation a reality.

“We couldn’t have done this without the ongoing generosity of our community partners,” said parent Deborah Shultz.

“This might appear to be just another playground,” says parent Mia Fiore, “but to us it is a landscape on which children’s dreams are built. We’re creating a canvas for their curiosity.”

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