I met with staff from the REACH early intervention program last week at their new site in North Amherst. They have moved recently into a wonderful new space in a renovated old elementary school building, where they will have play groups with the babies and toddlers. The school has the kind of high ceilings and huge windows that remind me of the school building where I build my first indoor playground back in the 1970’s. I met with staff to discuss plans for building some play equipment for their new site, and also to drop off two smaller pieces for them to try out. The ball ramp and “bottle baby” truck were designed with pre-school kids in mind, but should also be fun for the younger children. I have been looking for a place to try out these small designs, and my hope is to put plans for them up on the site once we get feedback that the designs are working as I intended.
The “Bottle Baby” Truck lets kids lift and carry around bottles, and push and pull the truck around
The ball ramp lets kids set up a long ramp for rolling balls or small cars
This new direction in building for an early intervention program was inspired by a generous grant received from Steven Salky and Gail Ifshin. The have been enjoying their first grandson, Jameson, born last December, and so the connection to building for infants and toddlers just seemed like a perfect way to move forward with the Playscape Project right now. I am also happy to be able to work with a group of wonderful and experienced early intervention therapists and educators on this project, including Arlene Spooner. My own background is much stronger with pre-school age kids, but I am certain I can get great feedback from these seasoned and wise early intervention staff to help with the design process.