The Ins and Outs of FUMCFW Playgrounds

By July 19, 2017Children's Ministries

Outdoor Playground Image_adjAfter years of fundraising and support for our FUMC Day School, we now have two fun-filled playgrounds — one in, one out — for our children to explore their physical freedom and expand their growing minds.

INDOOR

From then:

$75,000 from 2015 & 2016 fundraisers; completed in early 2017

To Now:

Four levels and two slides that completely fill the Children’s Wing Atrium with play areas for more than 25 children from babies to 12-year-olds (and maybe even adults who just can’t contain their childlike impulses)

Its Benefits:

  • Also used by church on Sundays and for events
  • Big space for kids to run and use their muscles
  • Can hold three times as many kids as before
  • Shelter from blazing sun and pouring rain
  • Important for movement, play, and fun

5V9A4704Closer Look:

Nina Burrows, Director of FUMC Day School, describes it as a good challenge in a lot of different ways. She had the fun task of helping each class navigate the rules, and in the process she has been involved in watching them start to use it. Nina says that you can just see the pure joy and glee when the children are running around. They love it so much that they even squeal when they go down the slide — which she admits would be hard not to do — and it’s close to the Main Office so others can hear their joy and see their faces. 

While it’s a challenge for the more timid children who take their time, others can’t wait to get the go-ahead and jump right in. “It’s interesting to see different personalities as they engage in it and use their core muscles coming up and down,” Nina adds. “Some kids are dangling their feet and not afraid to let go while others won’t until they see the ground beneath them. It gives you a glimpse into who they are as individuals, which is highlighted by the way that they play.” 

Fun Fact:

If you watch from the second floor, you’ll have a much better vantage point and can look straight out at the children as they play.

Children_VBS 7.16 5V9A0974OUTDOOR

From Then:

$150,000 from 2010 – 2012 fundraisers; completed in 2013

To Now:

Fun, safe space for all things play — from riding trikes to swinging on swings to digging in the sand

Its Benefits:

  • Also used by church on Sundays and for events
  • Safe space with nice shade and plenty of room
  • Swings and bikes for sensory development
  • Time outside in the fresh air and sunshine
  • Picnic tables and view of downtown Fort Worth

Children_VBS 7.16 5V9A0964Closer Look:

Nina says that her favorite part is the games the children make up and seeing them just be kids. She adds that while they have fun together, it’s also important for them to learn how to get along, navigate social challenges, and enter into a group for play. “It is an important skill that they don’t develop when adults are guiding them, but they need to have the freedom and time and space to learn how to navigate all of that,” Nina explains. “They can’t just sit and listen all day — that’s not how they’re wired — so getting outside and running and being in charge of what they do and having them set the agenda is important.”

Fun Fact:

The son of one of the moms who worked on the fundraiser came to school the very next day expecting the playground to be there already and cried when it wasn’t. “That’s a kid for you,” Nina laughs. 

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