May 15, 2017

Early Childhood Resource Center opens new interactive texture garden

The Early Childhood Resource Center has installed a permanent new interactive texture garden to provide children with a one-of-a-kind sensory experience. ECRC, which is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System, hosted a grand opening for the texture garden on Thursday, May 11.

The garden is the first installation of its kind in Stark County. Children paint fabric that is used, along with other textured materials, to build flowers and plants. These items are added a “growing” tree on a garden platform with grass and a picket fence. The children can even “paint” the picket fence and enjoy feeling the soft bristles of the brushes. Children can identify colors and shapes and engage in imaginative play while planting and caring for the garden, painting the fence, and creating their own original flowers and plants. The space also offers counting and sorting activities that each child will be able to take home.

The interactive texture garden was created by artist Michele Waalkes and funded by ArtsinStark and the Jane Williams Mahoney Philanthropic Fund.

The Repository published the following story covering the grand opening:

Early Childhood Resource Center opens Texture Garden

The Early Childhood Resource Center unveiled its new permanent interactive Texture Garden Thursday. The garden is designed to offer young children a multi-sensory experience, encouraging identification of colors and shapes and fine motor creative play.

By Repository staff 

CANTON The Early Childhood Resource Center unveiled a new type of garden Thursday that it wants children to come and touch. The Texture Garden includes a variety of textures for children to feel and gives them the chance to paint their own flowers to add to the garden.They also can “paint” the garden’s picket fence to feel the soft bristles of its brushes or linger by the large wood tree that offers a cozy area to crawl through.

The garden, which was artist Michele Waalkes and funded by ArtsinStark and the Jane Williams Mahoney Philanthropic Fund, also gives children a chance to practice identifying colors and shapes as well as participate in imaginative play while they “plant” and care for the garden.

Officials from Early Childhood Resource Center say sensory exploration, such as through touch, helps children understand the world around them and helps to build their brains. Through touch, children discover, categorize, examine and can develop their language skills.

For more information, visit the Early Childhood Resource Center at 1718 Cleveland Ave. NW or ecresourcecenter.org.

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