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Sand and Water

It’s called sand and water play, but don’t let that limit you. Autumn leaves, shredded paper, potting soil, or snow and ice are wonderful sensory experiences for children. We offer a range of water tables and accessories—something for every classroom space.

Outlast Water Table

Outlast Water Play

From a simple table unit to a complete play center, the Outlast Water Play System will transform your outdoor space! Weatherproof wood and extremely durable construction supports outdoor play in any season or climate.

Product Care Listing

Product Care

Community Playthings products are worth caring for.  You already know that our products last for decades. We recommend a regular program of maintenance for keeping Community Playthings products strong and beautiful. Refer to your Product Guide for more maintenance suggestions. Replacements...

lemonade stand

Important New Findings

The study of early childhood education has produced some extraordinary findings as of late.  Many tenets of early childhood that we previously just knew or had a gut-level feeling for, now have research to confirm these beliefs.  For example, I have fond memories of my mother reading to...

Winter activities

Ten Outdoor Winter Activities

Enjoying the outdoors is not limited to the summer months. Winter offers a host of thrilling activities and adventures for children. Wearing appropriate clothing is key to being able to enjoy the winter weather so make sure the kids are bundled up to keep warm and dry. Here are 10 activities...

Natural Play in the PreK Yard

Natural Play in the Preschool Yard

Imagine a circle of 15" high logs, tops flattened, spaced just so a four-year-old can leap from one to the next, and if she tumbles, the ground is close. Sometimes the new walkers lay claim to the circle because the logs are just right for cruising. Another time, the threes cluster in the circle to...

Come out and Play

Come Out and Play

The boisterous, exuberant physical play of children is more than just fun; it's a vital part of their development. For the sake of children's health and their future, early childhood educators have a major role to play in protecting and promoting intense, vigorous play in childhood. Young children...

The House Area

The House Area

The house area supports both individual and cooperative play. Many children spend considerable time in the house area—stirring, filling, emptying, pouring, shaking, mixing, rolling, folding, zipping, buttoning, snapping, brushing, trying things on and taking them off. They may imitate cooking...

Sand and Water play

Arranging and Equipping the Sand and Water Area

From infancy to adulthood, people enjoy sand and water. Young children like to play with sand and water and find such play satisfying. They enjoy mixing, stirring, heaping, dumping, digging, filling, emptying, pouring, patting, sifting, molding, and splashing, as well as making pretend cakes...

Making the Most of Watter Play

Making the Most of Water Play

Puddles, spray bottles, garden sprinklers, and backyard wading pools bring back gleeful memories of childhood. Even now, driving home after a rain, I secretly anticipate splashing down the little township lane that the children and I have nicknamed the “puddle road.” It is simply fun to...

Playing in the Gutters

Playing in the Gutters

Traditionally the sand area has provided opportunities for manipulation, construction, and discovery as children experiment with pouring, digging, and mixing sand with water. Last year we enriched our sand area with the introduction of plastic rain gutters. By our providing this simple but engaging...

Block Building

Block Building: Opportunities for Learning

Entering a second grade classroom, it is easy to determine what the children are learning. The schedule tells us when there will be math, reading, writer’s workshop, science, social studies, and art. The charts around the room give evidence of and add detail to these categories; textbooks...

Playing in the Sand Naturally

Playing in the Sand—Naturally

The beauty of sand is that it's one of the few manipulatives that truly allow children to explore their imaginations, it’s a material found almost everywhere on earth, and children love playing in it. They can dig to China, find “fossils,” hunt for gems, make roadways, build...

Secrets for Early Childhood Professors

Secrets for Early Childhood Professionals

Recent research findings that infant/toddler child care is of questionable quality in many centers in the United States challenges directors and care providers (Howes, Whitebook, and Phillips, 1992). These findings sound a clarion alarm. Infant mental health specialists have clearly documented the...

The Mud Center

The Mud Center: Recapturing Childhood

Mud is an art medium, one that we can mold, dry, and decorate. Unlike many other media, mud permits us to make mistakes. We can experiment repeatedly, knowing there is a limitless free supply. One of the most basic elements of the earth, mud allows us to develop an appreciation for the environment...

Seeing Is Believing

Seeing is Believing: Visible Thought in Dramatic Play

The home-living area in a busy childcare center has hummed all afternoon. Three-year-old Jared busily packs several large purses full of play food and clothes, dons an oversized sport jacket, picks up some keys, and announces, “I’m going to the store. Do you want to come?” On the...

Loose Parts

The Learning in Loose Parts

In a world in which we are preparing our youngest generation for professions still unknown, it is imperative to fuel children’s curiosity and appetite for learning. This love of learning, along with the skills to communicate, problem-solve, and self-regulate, will lead to life-long success no...

Constructive play

Constructive Play

One of my favorite activities as a young child growing up on a farm in the beautiful border country between England and Wales was to go outside after the frequent heavy rains we often experienced (or even while it was raining) to dig and build little ditches, channels, aqueducts, tunnels...


Awakening the Senses

Give a baby a chunk of ripe banana. She licks and bites off some to chew with her few little teeth experiencing the taste and texture with her mouth. She squashes that banana chunk slowly through her fingers, feeling the texture with her fingers. A preschooler finds a slimy earthworm while digging...

work bench

The Power of the Woodworking Bench

“Clunk, clunk, zzzz-zzzzz—thunk!” These are sounds of kids using tools at a woodworking bench. Sounds once familiar and pleasurable to me during my teaching days. I no longer hear those sounds during my visits to schools, nor do I see woodworking benches as part of the classroom...

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