St. Patrick’s is excited to announce that we will soon be opening a redesigned playground—the Tot Playground—adjacent to the Whitehaven Campus. This custom playground, designed for our youngest Wolfhounds in the Infant-Toddler Center (ITC), will replace the current playground located near the Whitehaven Campus tent. The new playground will include playcubes; a rainbow trio music ensemble featuring percussion instruments; a play panel; a sand and water panel to explore the properties of water; an art panel to engage their fine-motor skills; and a garden sensory panel, where children can explore the soil and creatures who inhabit it. There is also an age-appropriate slide and our ever-popular sandbox. We will also be populating the area with new outdoor play toys that are designed to spark the children’s imaginary play while also supporting their motor development. The installation will begin in mid-February.
“We are excited and grateful to add this wonderful resource for the youngest members of the St. Patrick’s community. The intentionality behind the equipment’s design and its layout will provide the children with hours of fun, while allowing them to take safe risks and develop their gross-motor skills. We can’t wait to introduce the new Tot Playground to the ITC children,” said Head of Nursery School/ITC Director Paul Lorenzo-Giguere.
Outdoor play encourages children to learn and practice the executive-function skills required to interact with their peers in productive and purposeful play. We at St. Patrick's know that time spent outdoors in a natural environment is calming, improves a child’s mood, and reduces stress. All in all, our children are physically, emotionally, and cognitively nourished by being active in outdoor and natural surroundings. The new Tot Playground, Primary Grades Playground, and Kindergarten Playground enable our students to learn through imaginative play, which is vital for cognitive and social development.
This year, we marked the 30th anniversary of the ITC, which has provided exceptional childcare since it opened in the fall of 1991. Originally established to provide care for children of Day School faculty and staff, the ITC has recently expanded its enrollment to include children from the broader community. There are currently 28 children aged six weeks to three years old enrolled in the ITC. To read more about the ITC and learn from faculty and staff who are either current or past ITC parents and caregivers, click here for the article in our fall St. Patrick’s Press.