The Water Feature installed in the sandbox is one of three learning centers provided with the grant. Creating natural spaces that connect to construction and scientific inquiry is the primary objective of FLIP THIS PLAYGROUND.
At Valley of the Sun (VSECA.org), we connect classrooms and school communities with the power of outdoor learning. Transforming hardscape playgrounds into natural learning spaces provides teachers with the right environment to make learning socially charged and fun! Research in child development and learning is clear. Children learn deeply when physically and emotionally engaged. We pay attention when our senses are heightened.
FLIP THIS PLAYGROUND provides outdoor libraries, unique gardens, music centers, unusual pathways and small group centers which support foundational literacy and scientific inquiry.
FLIP THIS PLAYGROUND is more than just changing the outdoor environment. The focus of the initiative is professional learning. In this, we are supporting teachers in the transformation of practice by bringing traditional classroom activities outdoors and then bringing natural, found materials (rocks, leaves, flowers, insects) back into the indoor classroom. All classrooms receive digital microscopes, allowing young learners to see small worlds up close. We are getting rid of worksheets and engaging children in real hands-on, full body learning and development. Making the learning real, meaningful and enjoyable.