Curved Panel

A New Look In the Corner

January 17, 2017

Out in nature it’s rare to come across a straight line. You’re even less likely to find a perfectly perpendicular corner. That’s why moving beyond rectangles and right angles in your interior environment softens the institutional feel of the room and helps reflect the calming geometry of nature.

Although changing existing architecture is difficult, simply adding curved or non-linear elements to your classroom will have an amazing effect on the character of your space. Children naturally gravitate towards soft curves which somehow seem more welcoming and natural than a rigid angle.

By now you should have received your 2017 catalog—please let us know if it has not arrived. Make sure you check out the new Radius Panel inside the front cover. Transforming a 90° corner into a gentle and inviting curve can redefine your whole classroom.

See what else is new here.

Case Study

How Classroom Design Reflects your Philosophy

January 10, 2017

A Community Playthings Case Study: The Friends Center for Children, New Haven, CT

With a strong foundation in the values of community, equality, simplicity, and nature, the Friends Center for Children gives an immediate impression of quality and care. How have they managed so successfully to create this sense of home, this oasis of calm and beauty just a few minutes’ drive out of downtown New Haven?

Click here to find out. 

winter fun

Bundle Up and Get Outside!

Posted by: Rhonda January 3, 2017

January’s here, and with it—at least here in the Northeast—snow, slush, ice, bitter winds, and frosty temperatures. Why would anyone want to venture outside in these kinds of conditions?

For most adults, winter is a time to stay inside and out of the weather, but are we hindering kids’ health and development with our negative attitudes to messy, winter weather? Let’s stop preventing children from experiencing the fun that wintry weather can bring.

This illustrated guide to winter activities explains the benefits of outdoor play for children, as well as providing tips on how to dress appropriately for cold weather. A great tool for both teachers and parents, this article will help foster a playful and positive attitude toward winter. Read now, then bundle up and get outside!

Picture Frame

The Season for Giving

Posted by: Rhonda December 13, 2016

Children naturally love gifts. They love receiving gifts, but it is hard to match the excitement children get from giving gifts—particularly gifts they created themselves. The Christmas season is a great time to provide children with opportunities to make things for the people they love.

We love using the nature materials that we collected in autumn to make beautiful natural ornaments and decorations to bring home to parents and friends at Christmas. Here is a peak at some of the creations coming out of our classrooms this season. 


A Lasting Gift

Posted by: Rhonda December 6, 2016

What gift will you give to the children in your care this year?

“We all want what is best for each child,” writes Dr. Ruth Wilson. “We want to give them what will make them grow and thrive. We generously give of our time and our attention. We wipe their tears and listen to their stories. These are all beautiful gifts that can’t be wrapped with paper and ribbon.”

Another long-lasting gift we can give to children is the gift of wonder. A sense of wonder increases resiliency in children. It is a “survival skill” that serves as an “unfailing antidote” against alienation from nature, boredom, and preoccupation with artificial things.

Many forces in today’s society—commercialism, technology, academic pressures, a too hurried lifestyle—threaten a child’s growing sense of wonder. It is increasingly important that each child has an adult who helps them nurture and cultivate this delicate gift. Read more.