Kansas Children’s Discovery Center installs ‘Discovery Play Spaces’ in local parks

Local News

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The Kansas Children’s Discovery Center is encouraging kids to play and learn with new installations at Topeka parks. KCDC has installed Discovery play spaces at 10 parks and community centers including:

  • Aaron Douglas Art Park 
  • Austin Park 
  • Betty Dunn Park 
  • Central Park Community Center 
  • Garfield Community Center 
  • Hillcrest Community Center 
  • Horne Park
  • Hughes Park 
  • Oakland Community Center 
  • Santa Fe Park

The installations are hopscotch like games installed on the sidewalk. The instructions are written in both English and Spanish.

Director of Marketing and Development Laura Burton said the play spaces were created by the same people who create exhibits at KCDC. These are aimed at pre-school aged children.

“They got to work thinking about how we could encourage kids,” Burton said. “Encourage kids to look at numbers, letters, literacy, hopping, pattern identification, and some other really important early childhood educational goals on a sidewalk.”

KCDC has closed its indoor spaces since March due to the pandemic. Burton said this, along with schools going virtual, is giving pre-school aged kids less educational opportunities.

Burton said they worked with Shawnee County Parks and Recreation to identify spaces in Topeka where these installations would do the most good.

“We targeted areas that were underserved,” Burton said. “Areas like Aaron Douglas Art Park where there’s not enough space for a playground in this park, but there are a lot of kids who walk by and might be looking for something fun to do.”

This project was paid for with Shawnee County Coronavirus Relief Funds for community-based projects.

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