The American Academy of Pediatrics says play nurtures children’s ingenuity, cooperation and problem-solving skills — all of which are critical for a 21st century workforce. “Collaboration, negotiation, conflict resolution, self-advocacy, decision-making, a sense of self, creativity, leadership, and increased physical activity are just some of the skills and benefits children gain through play.” Yet, societal changes in the past several decades have seen a continuous decline in children’s opportunities to play freely, unsupervised, with other children. Play is often replaced by structured activities under the supervision of a teacher, coach, or parent. These changes have resulted in children growing up with limited independent experience in navigating their world. Unstructured child-driven play has been identified as an essential tool in developing a young person’s confidence, building character, developing self-control and improving their ability to communicate and connect with those around them.
At Kids Wonder we invite you to “Enjoy the Wonder of Simple Play!” Kids Wonder values quality time spent climbing, exploring, pretending, jumping, giggling, and enjoying childhood. Remember that “Play is our favorite way of learning”1, we sincerely invite you to experience the value of true play.
Pretend play is not as simple as it seems, it has been said “Play is the Work of Children”. At Kids Wonder, children can go grocery shopping, to a restaurant, or the theater. Lils can put out a fire and build a house. Children can adopt a stuffed pet, pretend they’re a teacher, put a baby to bed, or deliver mail to their neighbor. Through unstructured pretend play children are learning to make sense of what they observe on a daily basis.
Over the last seventy-five years, a number of theorists and researchers have identified the values of such imaginative play as a vital component to the normal development of a child. Research shows that make-believe games, such as role playing or acting out scenarios through play, allow children the unique opportunity to learn social skills such as communication, problem solving, and empathy.2 Play encourages children to try new experiences, to stretch their imagination and gives them opportunities to learn about the world around them.
Kids Wonder is excited to share our Whole Brain Blocks! Huge, moveable, dense foam blocks allow for a unique opportunity for children to create, build, construct, and destroy! Children will be having so much fun using their imagination, they won’t realize the physical, intellectual, and social benefits of playing with these blocks. Unlike anything you’ve seen, Brain Blocks call for multi-aged and multi-skilled collaboration.
“Unlike toys, which often are limited in the number of ways you can play with them, blocks are open-ended. They empower children to use their imagination to build their own world, rather than inhabit one we create for them. Kids try new things and stretch their abilities. They experience their own triumphs and accomplishments. They make their own mistakes and learn their own lessons.”3 And they love using their whole brain doing it.
At Kids Wonder, children are also encouraged to use their Whole Body by running, jumping, climbing, sliding, balancing, building, and even falling down. Through physical play children learn the basic skills of coordination, balance, and body control. The commitment to a healthy active lifestyle starts early and being active reduces the chance of life-long health issues and challenges. Physical play also develops children’s self-confidence, awareness of limits, and boundaries. Children exposed to reasonable risk during play, learn to handle their fears and more easily adapt to new or unfamiliar situations. Play allows for failure in a safe environment and opportunities for a child to learn to believe in themselves.
Physical play also teaches children how to handle conflict, compromise, work in groups, and communicate. It encourages kindness, empathy and cooperation.
It is the Vision of Kids Wonder to create opportunities to positively impact the physical, intellectual, social, and emotional wellness of the children in our community though unstructured physical and imaginative play and developmental classes.
It is the Mission of Kids Wonder to support happy children, healthy families and strong communities.
When you visit Kids Wonder, you are coming for more than just play time, we invite every customer to become a part of the Kids Wonder community of friends. We are a part of the community beyond our doors. We are committed to getting to know our customers, and to serving the ever changing needs of the children and families in our community.