Power of Play

“Play turns out to be so stunningly essential to childhood, it’s like love, sunshine, and broccoli all juiced together.”  -Lenore Skenazy, writer

Legacy Grove’s play area encourages children to explore, invent, be daring, stretch their imaginations, move, be curious and discover. It’s an inclusive playground designed for children of all abilities that include ramps, slides, sensory equipment, and smooth surfaces and is fully fenced to provide a safe and inclusive environment for all children.

Play has the power to stimulate the mind, strengthen the body, and develop problem-solving skills, cooperation, as well as a sense of wonder and imagination, all while encouraging social interaction among children of all abilities.

These play options are known as “free play” because there’s not a specific way that kids have to use the equipment. They help children grow their balance, decision making skills, dialogue, cooperation, conflict resolution and abilities to be a leader and a follower.

Dulcimer Climber

A one-of-a-kind climbing musical instrument designed for ages 5 – 12. Climb in, on, around and throughout the dulcimer. The Dulcimer Climber pays tribute to the famous Appalachian string instrument created in the 1800s and Kentucky’s most renowned dulcimer-maker, Homer Ledford, who called Winchester home. Children can climb on, in and throughout the dulcimer and make their own music, songs and dance.

The front of the Dulcimer Climber features ropes to climb on and a wheelchair-accessible entrance to go under.
The back of the Dulcimer Climber features bells that can be rung to make your own song.

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Swings and Spinner

Swing and play in toddler bucket swings, a nest swing and a rope swing. Whirl, climb, spin, stand, sit, lay, hang, or balance with friends on the unity spinner. This area is designed for ages 2 – 12.

The swings and spinner area features toddler bucket swings, a nest swing, a rope swing and a spinner.

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Exploration Creek

Exploration Creek mimics a natural freshwater Kentucky stream. Dangle your toes, splash in the water, play like a frog or fish, balance on log crossings, listen for sounds, and play together at the nature lab. The creek is designed for ages 5 – 12.

Children can sift through rocks at the bottom of Exploration Creek, splash in the water, or balance on logs.

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Log Climber, Slide and Fort

The log climber, boulders and mounds give a range of climbing options for children ages 2 – 5. Scramble up the hillsides, balance on the logs, climb on the rope and run up the mounds. The mounds represent the hills or “knobs” you’ll find in Central Kentucky. The fort mimics a lean-to structure commonly found along the Appalachian Trail when Danial Boone explored Kentucky.

The log climber, boulders and mounds give a range of climbing options for younger children. The fort offers a place to play and slide back down to the logs
Children may balance on the logs and climb up the hills and mounds

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Plunge Slide and Boulder Climbing

A tall slide and a boulder climbing area, designed for ages 5 – 12.

Plunge slide from the top

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Building Maze & Loose Parts Play

Put your imagination to work as you explore the field maze. Discover new things around each turn, climb on and over the hills, make new friends and play together. Loose parts play is intended to build children’s creativity, problem-solving, engineering and teamwork skills. Be mindful the structures built are temporary and not likely to be sturdy. This area is designed for children ages 5 – 12.

Fabric maze
Maze for free play
Tree cookies and wooden blocks
Wildlife Habitats

Get close to nature by watching the insect hotel, wren and chickadee house, butterfly shelter, mason bee house and bat box along the nature path.

Butterfly house
Birdhouse
Bat house
Resources:

Children At Play Network
Playtime Prescription for Children – CBS News
Playtime Prescription – American Academy of Pediatrics
Nature Learning Initiative
Benefits of Connecting Children with Nature
Children’s Health and Nature Fact Sheet
Benefits of Environmental Education
Nature Play Spaces
Health Benefits and Tips