Tennessee Tech University’s College of Education offers a unique resource to regional families and university students through its Child Development Lab, which offers the highest quality child care and gives TTU students hands-on training.
The lab has moved to a newly renovated space on campus and the children are in need of a new playground. The vision of a green, natural playscape for increased interactive play opportunities and creative hands-on, learning adventures is in development.
The children of the CDL, infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers, spend their days in a socially stimulating and language-rich environment where learning occurs through play-based, developmentally appropriate curriculum.
“We are thrilled with the opportunity to update our outdoor play experiences for the children,” said Angie Smith, director of the Child Development Lab. “Since moving to our new campus location, it has been a priority to install a new, nature-based playground to enhance the comprehensive learning environment of the CDL.”
Though less expensive than a traditional playground with metal and plastic equipment, the natural playground does have a price tag. There will be activity-appropriate areas for the infants and toddlers and one for the pre-school age children.
“From climbing on rocks and pedaling down a tricycle path to crawling through tunnels and experiencing activity-based plant beds, we do need financial assistance to make the natural playground a reality,” Smith said. “We are hoping for donations to help us continue to lay the foundations for healthy minds and bodies.”
As a university-based laboratory program, the CDL trains and educates TTU students majoring in early childhood, early child special education, child and family studies, nursing and psychology through observation and interaction with the participating children.
Research-based benefits of nature play for children include increased creativity in play, concentration and impulse control, improved physical coordination, stress reduction, and developing an awareness of the environment.
TTU’s College of Education has long been home to some of the most innovative education programs and experiences available in the region for both young learners and emerging young educators. The CDL has been a forerunner in early childhood education for more than 30 years.
For more information about the Natural Playscape project visit tntech.edu/cdl/playscape-project or call 931-372-6262.