Members of the Day Nursery Association and Day Nursery Auxiliary boards gathered early Saturday morning to help build garden boxes on the preschool playground of our Ruth A. Lilly Center, 3522 N. Central Avenue. Both the preschool and infant toddler playgrounds are undergoing a major transformation to turn them into a certified Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom.
Pictured here is one of 4 garden boxes that the volunteers built. A second group of volunteers will construct the toddler garden boxes soon. Children will have the opportunity to plant seeds in the winter and nurture them in indoor greenhouse environments, transplanting them to the boxes every spring. A project approach to learning is used in these science lessons in that the classroom groups research and decide what they want to grow, how to take care of the plants, and ultimately how to prepare the food when they harvest it.
One focal point of the preschool playground consists of 5 x 5 foot decking platforms that are at different heights and framed by round wooded trunk-like posts. Once this play area is built, children will be able to add fabric and other items to create, build and play using imagination and team building skills with other kids. The different levels create rooms/spaces that are available simultaneously for constant play. The toddler playground has another platform deck, built to scale for younger children. The project is being facilitated by Daryn Fair, President of Fall Creek Land Design.