The Alvin Community College Lab School re-opened its playground on July 24 after several months of renovation.
The renovations included new equipment throughout the playground, replaced grass, added mulch for safety and added shade over portions of the facility. The new equipment provided students with more opportunities to explore, said Karen Tofte, Lab School director. Research has shown the benefits of children playing with equipment that incorporates moving parts as well as natural surroundings, she said.
“We want to foster children’s natural curiosity and offer challenges,” Tofte said. “We wanted to elevate the playground to an outdoor learning environment. The new equipment in the outdoor learning environment supports all domains of learning – social, emotional, language, cognitive and physical. Instead of unfocused play that features a lot of milling about, we already see the children engaging in meaningful play that features problem-solving, cooperation and wonder.
The new equipment and safety features were funded through a grant from the Texas Workforce Commission. The shade was purchased in part from a donor through the ACC Foundation.