The concept is STEAM. A movement created by the Rhode Island School of Design to include art and design in the STEM model. This educational approach that includes science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics results in children who take thoughtful risks, experiment, problem solve, and eventually innovate and lead!
Many might be a little shocked that the area went from a partially enclosed, gross motor dominated space to a fine motor, open concept. There is no more wall and not much in the way of climbing and jumping like before. This space will encourage parents to play alongside their children helping them with the giant floor puzzle (that also doubles as periodic table tic tac toe), creating a masterpiece on the art tablets, and assembling a giant magnet castle on the light table.
Several child-development specialists were consulted in the design and the conclusion was to encourage engagement amongst parents and children.
The baby / toddler area is semi enclosed by seating to aid in keeping the tiniest members of our community contained but overall you will definitely have to be extra vigilant in keeping track of your children. Especially if you have multiple like I do. I will say that my 3 and 4 year old were far too engaged to try and leave the area so I only had to chase after my 20 month old who was tempted to stray over to Annie's pretzels countless times =)
If you are interested in fun, family friendly events, make sure to attend the grand opening on June 2nd from 10 a.m - 1 p.m for ribbon cutting, face painting, and a balloon artist!