The play space, which is located in January-Wabash Park, opened in July and features climbers, a ball pit, blocks, play dough, costumes, a play kitchen, toys, books, puzzles and games. In the future organizers plan to offer art supplies as well.
The play area is the brain child of Simple Positive Play, an organization that’s on a mission to facilitate playful learning experiences. The new indoor play space was made possible by a partnership with Ferguson Parks and Recreation, which converted office space for the new indoor play project.
“The mission of Simple Positive Play is to reinforce connections between individuals, organizations and information resources by developing an inclusive environment and engaging in community dialogue concerning child and adolescent development and education,” said Jennifer Ilardi, president and CEO of Simple Positive Play. “By providing more access to playful and artistic resources to children and families in the community, we're able to promote and support learning through playful experiences.”
The new space is designed to provide a fun, educational, engaging indoor play area for children ages birth through third grade. Organizers hope the free indoor play room will also serve as a space for parents to socialize and exchange ideas and resources for learning and play at home and beyond.
Simple Positive Play is accepting donations of puzzles, blocks and toys to stimulate and support brain development for young visitors. The play area is currently open Sundays 9 a.m.-3 p.m., with plans to offer hours on other days as more volunteers become available.
“The space has a lot of potential and we want to make sure that we're using it the best that we can so we can really provide a positive experience for those who want to be a part of it,” Ilardi said.
Simple Positive Play supports educational opportunities through other local organizations and events, as well, including drop-in play sessions at Nature Lodge, located in Sunset Park in Florissant; make-and-take projects at Florissant Food Truck Knights; and a program that supports young artists in Louisiana, Missouri. Follow Simple Positive Play on Facebook for the latest news and information about upcoming projects, events and initiatives.