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Laurel School Introduces Imagination Playground

Here's what four of Ms. Cressy's third graders wrote after playing with the Imagination Playground for the first time. To read their complete handwritten story, click on their name.

Jasper says "Imagination Playground (TM) is a great place to practice building skills. First we'll look at the playing, building and designing the structures. Then we'll look at making your own blocks!"

writes "Imagination Playground is really fun because you get to experiment and build with giant, blue, foam blocks. There are also little blue balls which you can use as marbles and make a marble track.... I hope that everyone had as much fun as I did at Imagination Playground."

: "Imagination Playground is a place to express your thoughts. It's a time for kids to work in harmony with one another.... I wish Encinal had it too."

Mattie writes: "It's a place for kids to let their imaginations run wild.... I'm proud Laurel has found another way for kids to get along."

More information about Laurel's Imagination Playground:

Thanks to a partnership between Laurel School Site Council, Laurel School PTO and the Menlo Park Atherton Education Foundation students are collaboratively creating scenes, objects and machines from their imaginations using large foam blocks and cylinders. Research informs us that 21st Century Learners, Contributors, and Leaders possess the following four essential skills (“The Four Cs”):
·       Creativity and Innovation
·       Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
·       Communication and
·       Collaboration

The 21st Century Playground is an innovative way to build students’ capacity and experiences in each of these four areas in an authentic environment, appropriate to the age of primary students.

Students will begin to live and learn the 21st Century skills through facilitated play, when guided by an adult who focuses their learning on the skills before and during their play. For a consecutive week of lunchtimes, each second or third grade class will work with Ms. Strichartz, to collaborate, think critically, and create while building structures and stretching their imaginations. Ms. Strichartz is working to become trained as a “Play Associate” by the Imagination Playground staff. 

By the end of the year, each second and third grade class will have had at least week to let their imaginations run wild! All teachers have the opportunity to sign up to use the Imagination Playground with their classes and have been provided the literature to get started. The sign-up calendar for teachers to use the Imagination Playground with their students is already filling up!
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