The Wild Place!

At CME, we understand the importance of play in early childhood development and are committed to providing a safe, high-quality play experience that fosters growth and learning… both inside AND outside!

We are excited to announce that we are transforming our beloved Wild Place into a vibrant outdoor play area where children can unleash their imagination and build a foundation for a healthy lifestyle.

The space will feature 9 new pieces of innovative equipment that stimulate imaginative and thematic play. We will also be adding more greenery and natural elements to create an even more immersive outdoor experience.

We can't wait to unveil our newly renovated space, but until then, we invite you to explore the play structures we will be acquiring and learn about the numerous benefits of outdoor play.

Stay tuned for updates on our progress and be sure to plan a visit with your family soon!

The Power of Play

The Tortoise

The Tortoise is designed to provide tactile and engaging playtime for young children, promoting their overall development. The colorful toy is filled with surprises and fascinating features on all sides, including shapes and spheres that move along the lines. Children can move the pieces with their hands, which can help improve their motor coordination and fine motor skills. The yellow spheres running in their groove create a rattling sound, adding a sensory dimension to the experience that children love to explore. This cause-and-effect action also stimulates a toddler’s logical thinking skills and cognition.

Tortoise

Sensory Play Panel (2)

The Sensory Play Panel is an interactive play area that attracts and engages young children. It offers a variety of textures that are responsive to touch and stimulate fine motor skills. The conveyor belt is the main attraction, providing tactile stimulation that is deeply satisfying for children. The panel also features a clock face and a shop window with open and closed curtains, encouraging imaginative play scenarios that promote communication, language, and social-emotional development. A mirror on the panel allows children to see themselves and their surroundings. It is an immensely attractive activity for young children, developing their understanding of themselves as individuals and their social-emotional skills.

Sensory Play Panel

Jungle Gym

The Jungle Gym is an irresistible playground challenge for young children. It is an excellent motor skills stimulator, as the varied, responsive climbing ropes and nets make climbing attractive. Children use their muscles, cross-coordination, and depth perception as they climb horizontally and vertically across the ropes and nets. Climbing across the top beam with support rope adds to the thrill. The varied climbing styles allow for different climbing techniques, and more children can climb together. This fosters cooperation and communication among children, where they learn social-emotional skills such as turn-taking and negotiation. The higher destinations are perfect for the sense of space, helping children judge distances, for instance, when crossing a street or navigating a crowded place.

Jungle Gym

Interactive Play Panel-crop

The Interactive Play Panel offers various tactile experiences for children to explore. The low bench counter in the middle is perfect for meetings and sharing and also makes an excellent spot for playing workshop, a playground favorite. On one side of the bench, gearing wheels and a funnel encourage children to use their logical thinking skills. These wheels will turn each other, and the funnel will transport materials. For young children, this helps them develop their understanding of object permanence: that items can be out of sight but still exist. The panels can be played from both sides, encouraging social play and communication.

Interactive Play Panel

Giraffe_Front

The Giraffe is the friendliest animal in the savanna! It offers a wide range of activities that appeal to toddlers, keeping them playing for extended periods and then coming back again and again. The design is transparent, and the platform is broad, making it easy for caregivers to support play. The climbing net helps in cross-coordination and proprioception, knowing where and how your body is oriented in your surroundings, which are fundamental motor skills for navigating the world safely. The green platform has a nice den underneath with various entry points that evoke a sense of wonder and logical thinking. The rich tactile details of the Giraffe are lovely to touch and take toddlers on a journey of understanding object permanence. For example, pulling its tail back and forth helps children understand that things can disappear but still exist.

Giraffe

Jungle Jeep

The Jungle Jeep ignites a child's imagination and encourages dramatic play. It has an open design and easy access, which invites all children to play and make friends. It features many options for crawling and climbing that help stimulate motor skills such as cross-coordination. Using the Jungle Jeep allows children to train their muscles, proprioception, and movement control. On the easily accessible platform, there is a gear shift, steering wheel, and seat to add to the imaginative driving experience. Dramatic play is a favorite type of play for younger children, and it helps them build an understanding of the world while improving their language and communication skills.

Jungle Jeep

KidsTable

The Kids' Table is a fun meeting point where imaginative play can continue. Children can play house, restaurant or line up and sort items found or brought to the playground. The 4 poles are seats, perfect for leaning on, stepping on, or jumping off!

Kid's Table

Safari Camp

The Savanna Camp attracts toddlers, preschoolers, and adults for varied, creative play hours. Its richly detailed design encourages dramatic and explorative play and solid social interaction and cooperation. The xylophone, drum panels, clock, bell, flaps, and mirror support creative and group play. These activities promote logical thinking and encourage dramatic play, which is excellent for language and reading skills development.

Savanna Camp

Croc_1

The Crocodile is a playful place for young children to rest. It features a friendly yet fierce character supporting their active play. This bench is designed to help children develop their social-emotional and physical skills. With its intentional design, children can stay and play and enjoy the developmental benefits and thrilling fun! In addition to being a place to sit alone or with friends, the Crocodile supports friendship skills. The small holes stimulate exploration and allow children to play peek-a-boo and other games. Even infants can enjoy moving around the bench and pulling themselves up to stand, which helps them train essential physical skills such as coordination and muscle strength.

Crocodile

Benefits of Outdoor Play

Research shows that playing outside enhances a child’s cognitive abilities, promotes physical and mental health, enhances social and emotional development, fosters creativity, and nurtures a deep connection with the world.

Children playing on jeep

Cognitive Development

Engaging in outdoor play provides sensory experiences that can stimulate all five senses and promote cognitive function. Nature serves as a continuous source of inspiration. With open-ended play and imaginative exploration of The Wild Place, we can help foster creativity, curiosity, problem-solving skills, and critical thinking in the minds of our young guests.

Physical Health

The Wild Place is designed to provide ample space for children to engage in active play, such as running, jumping, climbing, and other physical activities. Outdoor play promotes children's physical development by improving their muscle strength, coordination, and gross motor skills, boosting their immune system, and improving their mood. It also improves overall health by lowering body mass and teaching a healthy lifestyle.

Mental Health

Youth depression and anxiety rates have skyrocketed in recent years, and research increasingly suggests the amount of time a child spends in nature can significantly impact their psychological health throughout their life. Exposure to nature’s fresh air and greenery allows children to relax mentally, ultimately reducing stress levels and fatigue, helping restore their concentration and ability to focus, and reducing the risk of mental illness.

KidsTable (1)

Social Development

The Wild Place brings a fantastic opportunity for children to grow socially. Having enough space to breathe and move around can make kids more comfortable sharing their feelings with other children and trusted adults. Children who play outside are generally more self-aware, with an increased awareness of others’ feelings, and are more likely to develop observational and reasoning skills that lead to better communication and improved peer-to-peer relationships.

KidsTable (1)
Child playing with giraffe

Emotional Development

Routine outdoor play can help children develop emotional strength and improve their ability to process and respond to sensory stimuli. Unstructured outdoor play allows them to take risks and try new things, leading to a wide range of emotions in response to failures and successes. These experiences promote self-reflection, independence, and resilience.

Connection with Nature

Fostering an appreciation for the natural environment is crucial in an increasingly digital world. By offering an outdoor play space, CME will help children cultivate a deeper connection with nature, instill a sense of environmental stewardship, and nurture their love and respect for the world we share.

We invite our community to join hands with us in making this vision a reality!
By supporting our Wild Place renovation, you will help us redesign, engineer, and landscape the play area. Donations will also assist in buying and installing the play structures, safety surfacing, and a communication board essential for creating a secure and enjoyable environment.
Together, we can create an outdoor haven where laughter echoes and memories are made!