Owensboro daycare builds new sensory playground

Owensboro daycare builds new sensory playground

OWENSBORO, Ky. (WFIE) - A Tri-State daycare has installed a new outdoor sensory playground - the first of its kind in the nation.

The playground can be found at Puzzle Pieces, an Owensboro non-profit specializing in care for people with disabilities.

The Miracle Museum is designed to stimulate sensory activity for those who have a harder time expressing needs and emotions.

“It’s been really nice to be able to watch the kids look forward to coming outside, they ask to come outside now every day,” Blaire Neighbors, director of the daycare’s autism center. “Before that, we had nothing.”

There are different stations on the playground. Neighbors say these areas are designed with science to activate senses like touch, sound and sight.

Neighbors told 14 News she has seen a decrease in meltdowns and behavioral problems, calling the playground an outlet.

“The typical playground - you think slides, swings, which are great, but they don’t have the textures, the colors, different things they can see, different things they can feel,” Neighbors said.

Children of all ages have enjoyed the new playground, especially a little boy named Skyler.

“Happy!” Skyler responded when asked how playing outside with his friends makes him feel.

Funded by a grant from Owensboro Health, Miracle Recreation out of Kentucky teamed with Puzzle Pieces to make the playground for research.

“I said absolutely,” exclaimed Amanda Owen, executive director and founder of Puzzle Pieces. “I want that opportunity I know our clients could really benefit from it.”

Owen says a main goal for the playground is inclusivity.

“To see the client smile and just provide a purpose,” she said. “It’s not just a playground and I think that’s the joy of it all.”

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