Imagination Playground at the Louisiana Children’s Museum in New Orleans

From Thursday, January 31st – Saturday, February 2nd, Imagination Playground joined Louisiana Children’s Museum in New Orleans  for several play events leading up to Super Bowl XLVII. The Museum’s campaign Places to Play explores the role of play in developing lifelong healthy habits for the city’s youngest residents, as well as combining play education with access to safe, creative play spaces.

During Thursday’s launch, the Louisiana Children’s Museum introduced their first Imagination Playground to the local New Orleans community. Children invited from Kingsley House Head Start and Early Head Start Preschool and Abeona House Child Discovery Center were eager to build with the new Imagination Playground blocks.

          

Showing their support, Dr. Karen DeSalvo (commissioner of New Orleans Health Department) and Laverne Saulny (Regional Manager for US Senator Mary Landrieu) were in attendance and spoke at a press conference during the event. The Imagination Playground and Rockwell Group team also led three Play Associate training sessions, walking through various dimensions of block play and child-directed free play, and preparing the Louisiana Children’s Museum team for many more successful play sessions to come.

Friday was another full day of active play at LCM. Staff tested their new skills as Play Associates, facilitating play as young visitors built furniture, buildings, a bus (complete with noodle seat belts!), curved pathways, and more with the blocks and loose parts.

The week’s events concluded in the “New Orleans Super Saturday of Service”, a co-sponsored event between the Louisiana Children’s Museum, Fit NOLA, the White House’s Let’s Move!, and NFL Play 60.  Promoting play in building healthy communities, the day provided improvements and renovations to five of the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission’s playgrounds. Imagination Playground was at the Lyons Field location, one of the five play spaces restored by the initiative. During an unveiling ceremony with Dr. Karen DeSalvo and council member LaToya Cantrell’s representative Mason Harrison, Imagination Playground and Louisiana Children’s Museum donated a second play set to the city for public use. As soon as the blocks were unpacked, families and children were quick to begin the fun, having a blast while building a variety of imaginative structures.

In speaking about Places to Play, Julia Bland CEO of the LCM, explained “We recognize that childhood obesity will not be eliminated until children and families are aware of their health habits and can turn that awareness into behavioral changes with daily exercise and activity – as individuals or as a family. Offering our four-year-olds a chance to share their ‘play places,’ and documenting the experience through their artwork, stories and photography, will help increase awareness and active lifestyles.”

To read more on the Louisiana Children’s Museum’s Places to Play in New Orleans initiative, visit the Let’s Move! blog >>