THE PLAYFUL LEARNING LANDSCAPE DEBUTS IN LITTLE VILLAGE
Community installation taps into children’s curiosity in an everyday setting
The Little Village Playful Learning Landscape, a collaborative initiative that transforms everyday public spaces where families work, play, and live into dynamic opportunities for learning will debut on Saturday, June 26 from noon to 2pm at Linares Launderia, 3844 W. 26th Street.
Intended for families, caregivers, and children to engage in early math activities during everyday activities such as doing laundry, Playful Learning also takes moments such as waiting for the bus or waiting at the doctor’s office and turns them into fun learning experiences for both children and their families.
“The Playful Learning project aims to ‘mathematize’ a local Little Village laundromat widely used by families,” said Maya Portillo, Education Program Associate at the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, a lead funder of the initiative. “This space provides caregivers ample opportunity to engage with children while doing their laundry.” The debut follows a year-long community collaboration process between the design exhibitors, the Chicago Children’s Museum; community partners, Enlace and the Little Village Community Foundation; and the implementation partner, Metropolitan Family Services.
“This installation is truly meeting Little Village families and children where they live and comes at an exciting time for many in our community.” said Valerie Coffman, Adult, and Early Childhood Education Pipeline Specialist at Enlace’s Little Village Education Collaborative. “We are hopeful and encouraged by the learning opportunities this space will create for families in Little Village.”
Other benefits of Playful Learning include providing parents and caregivers with the tools and resources to support their interactions with their children to build their vocabulary, prepare them for school, and lay a strong foundation for lifelong learning. “The experience helps both children and adults see their world through a math lens and learn to recognize that math is an essential part of everyday life,” added Amy Spar, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at the Chicago Children’s Museum.
Additional Playful Learning sites can be found in North Lawndale and the city of Aurora. For more information about Playful Learning please visit: www.playfullearningillinois.org.