The Center for the Young Child
Follow the aspen trees and blue river into The Village.
Your littlest ones can grow up in this exhibit, working their way from The Pond to The Meadow, through The Grove and into The Village.
Designed for children, newborn through three years old and their grown-ups, this safe, soft and quiet area is the perfect place for playful interaction between you and your child.
Babies can float in a leaf cradle on a soft, pretend pond. Infants on the move can creep, crawl and practice walking in a sunny meadow, and use mirrors and peek-a-boo pockets for reflection play. Walkers and talkers can climb under and over twisted roots in a dusky grove and explore the fishing boat, garden and cottage in an enchanting little village.
Educational Concepts and Skill Development
This Playscape is carefully designed to support the development of these important early learning principles:
Pond: Newborn – 1 year
- Large Motor Skills: Lying on stomach, sitting, wiggling, turning head and rolling over
- Fine Motor Skills: Grasping, bilateral coordination - reaching out to objects on mobile
- Sensory Thinking: Bright colors, reaching and touching interesting items, responding to movement of mobiles and hand-eye coordination
- Language/Social Skills: Interaction with adults, cooing when excited
Meadow: 9 months – 2 years
- Large Motor Skills: Crawling, walking, climbing stairs and running
- Fine Motor Skills: Grasping and releasing objects (big and small), reaching to objects, bilateral coordination – playing and building with soft toys, and carrying toys
- Sensory Thinking: Exploration of safe objects, hide and seek, and environmental sound exposure
- Language: Using words and/or body to ask for toys, and recognizing color and shape names
- Social Skills: Interacting with adults, sharing and taking turns with peers, exposure to new people and parallel play
Grove: 2 – 3 years
- Large Motor Skills: Running, climbing, carrying objects and sliding
- Fine Motor Skills: Grasping and releasing magnets, holding on while climbing
- Sensory Thinking: Mirrors - awareness of self, identity - make-believe play and independent exploration
- Social Skills: Interactive play with peers and turn-taking
Village: 2 – 3 years
- Fine Motor Skills: Grasping, hand-eye coordination, turning pages in books, turning handles, holding crayons, setting the table and building
- Language: Physical relationship language (on, under, in), environmental language (gardening, cooking, fishing, etc), social language (communicating with peers in pretend play, turn taking, social roles – “mommy,” “baby,” etc.)
- Cognitive: Problem-solving, same/different, sorting (shape, color, size), counting, daily living skills (gardening, cooking, caretaking, fishing) and imaginative play
- Social Skills: Role play and sharing
- Early Literacy: Listening and talking, telling stories, asking questions, sharing ideas, constructing imagined scenarios and play narratives
Where is it?
Play & Learn Together
- Pond: Talk to your child about what you are doing and what you see
- Meadow: Play peek-a-boo with the mirrors along the bridge
- Grove: Help your child climb the stairs and slide
- Village: Ask questions and make requests ("Please bring me two carrots and one beet." "How many people are we setting the table for?")
Try this fun activity guide next time you visit the Center for the Young Child.
Pond: Newborn – 1 year
Meadow: 9 months - 2 years
Grove: 2 - 3 years
Village: 2 - 3 years