Willow Tree Family Center receives grant from Jackson National Life

24 Jun 2015

Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood. -Fred Rogers

Play is the vehicle of development for children. It enhances their cognitive growth, language development, motor skills, and more. Children learn when playing with their grown ups and with other children. Because of this, Willow Tree Family Center is pleased to announce our new Play Space, donated by Jackson National Life. Now when families come to Willow Tree to attend a group or class, there will be high-quality, developmentally appropriate materials to enjoy!

What is in the Willow Tree Play Space?

Here is a sneak peak of what you will find!

Our slide allows for practice climbing and sliding, large motor skills are part of the physical development domain


Pretend Play is an essential component of social-emotional development and language development. Not only do children make sense of their world by acting it out, but also they get to practice taking turns, learn to make a plan and execute the plan, negotiate needs and desires with their peers, and utilize new vocabulary and language skills.

Check out our food! Labels in both Spanish and English support early literacy skills, a component of language development, and the ability to sort by color supports early math skills, a component of cognitive development.

Blocks not only allow for the development of fine motor skills, but also they help develop planning and executing abilities and spacial concepts, all part of the cognitive domain.

All our materials are stored in wheeled bins beneath a toddler-sized table. The small lip around the perimeter of the table keeps manipulatives and sensory items from falling on the floor.

And don't worry, we still have our favorite train table. This classic toy combines construction with prentend play to enhance multiple areas of development.


These pictures are just a sneak peak of what you will find in the Play Space at Willow Tree.

There are also other items that specifically for babies less than 12 months old. We cannot wait for you and your little ones to come and check it out!


Thank you again to Jackson National Life for the generous grant to purchase these materials for our Willow Tree children!