For proper physical growth, especially in primary school programs, play equipment that facilitates gross and fine motor development is necessary.
Although children in Okurase are very creative in making toys and playing games, The children of Okurase had never had a playground. They had never had the benefit of play equipment to help with development. As we open the Nkabom Sundrops Montessori School in the village, a proper playground is needed to facilitate the learning process.
The Nkabom Centre Playground Program
In January 2017, the Nkabom Centre Organic Garden was built in front of the Vocational School which will be the initial location for Nkabom Sundrops Montessori. The plan for this area surrounding the school was for a stone patio to serve as a community gathering spot under the neem tree. In addition, we are working on laying paving stones that will feature a labyrinth. We felt that the first ever playground in Okurase should be a natural part of this community spot. The playground will be used for the Montessori School and will also be a resource for village children to play.
We started with toddler, child, and adult swings. A company from Charleston, South Carolina donated a swurfer – this is a swing that you stand on and it functions like a surfboard. As we open the school and continue to operate the garden, we will add equipment to the playground.
The benefits of a playground are multiple. Children will have fun while improving physical, emotional, social, and cognitive development. Playgrounds are considered hands-on classrooms that provide learning opportunities to kids of all ages.
As funds are available, we will expand the playground beyond the swings. We plan to add areas for climbing, sliding, jumping and engaging in fine motor activities.
How You Can Help
If a playground is something you can see yourself being involved in, you can help by coming to Okurase and help us extend the playground. You can provide funds to help pay local carpenters to build the playground, to ship playground equipment or maybe you would like to donate equipment yourself. Finally, we would be grateful for any ideas you have to share about playground equipment that addresses different developmental skills.