Make Play Smart

Early Brain Development

Make Play Smart

Can we solve problems, think critically, and work together in a team? Can we manage our emotions and read the emotions of other people?  

These are things we learn through play. And they are the basis of the “soft skills” employers will for in us as adults. 

The Make Play Smart effort aims to build brain development concepts into public spaces in the community — in ways big and small.  

Playgrounds designed with an eye toward the way that children can build their brains and bodies together have been installed at the Bodacious Brew Driver-Thru and in Moreno Court housing complex.  

These play spaces are built primarily with natural materials and include wood features, musical features, sand and water features all designed to build gross and fine motor skills. They are landscaped with plants and trees that are non-toxic, attractive to butterflies and fuel a child’s connection with the natural world. That’s something research also shows is an important component of health brain development. 

Also, SCI conceived a series of colorful, fun decals that can be installed in parks, playgrounds and other public spaces. We hope these designs will reinforce concepts including counting, letter naming, shape and color identification. 

They’ve been placed on the steps at Blue Wahoos Stadium so that families can count and learn together. They’ve also been placed at parks across the community. Cantonment Rotary Club sponsored nine decals in Carver Park, a neighborhood park on Webb Street in Cantonment. Club President Bobby King said the project was a great match for Rotary’s commitment to community, education and improving the lives of children. 

“The research of Studer Community Institute on becoming an effective Early Learning City shows that focusing on early brain development of the children in our community will help tremendously,” King said. “The Make Play Smart decals will reach children and engage their minds while having fun playing at the same time."

Artwork showing multi-color squares with numbers 1 to 10
Artwork of a sea turtle with multiple shapes on its shell

Early Learning Initiatives

An Early Learning City is community that give parents the tools, advice and support they need to help their children be ready for kindergarten. From healthcare to business, everyone has a part to play.