Gorey Guardian - - NEWS -

A CHILD­CARE cen­tre near En­nis­cor­thy has just un­veiled new state of the art fa­cil­ity which could be likened to a Mon­dello Park for kids.

Pro­pri­etor of Bar­ley Hill Child­care Cen­tre at Cool­na­horna, Pauline O’Byrne has re­cently in­vested in the busi­ness to re­de­velop a large piece of ground to the rear of the crèche and Montes­sori school.

A large fig­ure eight cy­cle track with in­te­grated pic­nic ar­eas has been in­stalled as well as hills and tun­nels that would ri­val Tele­tub­by­land. All this looks out over a veg­gie patch and chicken coop al­low­ing the chil­dren to en­joy a taste of ‘The Good Life’ while they play.

An in­no­va­tive ad­di­tion to the child­care cen­tre is the lat­est craze in chil­dren’s bik­ing - bal­ance bikes.

‘We pur­chased a num­ber of bal­ance bikes for the new play area and al­ready the chil­dren love them. Re­search has shown that these bikes which do not have ped­als, help the chil­dren to cy­cle with­out sta­bilis­ers and learn to bal­ance much quicker. It in­creases their con­fi­dence and once they get the hang of it, they mas­ter the skill of rid­ing a pedal bike at a much younger age,’ Pauline ex­plains.

Of­fi­cially opened at the re­cent Bar­ley Hill sum­mer party, the re­de­vel­oped play area has al­ready proved a hit with the chil­dren, and as the new pre-school term commences, new Montes­sori pupils will reap the ben­e­fits.

‘All chil­dren love be­ing outdoors as much as pos­si­ble and we have two gar­dens to choose from, one of which is a sen­sory gar­den. This gar­den fea­tures a sand pit, bal­ance beam, wooden train, out­door cov­ered class­room and pi­rate ship,’ Pauline adds.

‘Learn­ing through out­door play is in­valu­able and the outdoors is one of the best learn­ing en­vi­ron­ments avail­able. Here, chil­dren learn through their senses and move­ment from play­ing with nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als such as sand, wood and mud while im­prov­ing their co­or­di­na­tion and bal­ance.’

The new cy­cle track at Bar­ley Hill child­care cen­tre at Cool­na­horna.

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