What is Bellaboo's Play and Discovery Center?



The Center, designed by the White Hutchinson Leisure & Learning Group and constructed by the Lake County Parks and Recreation Department in Indiana, is based on the proven concept that there is a positive relationship between the way children play and their cognitive and social development.  Many facilities are adopting techniques designed to encourage the natural curiosity of children.  The Field Museum in Chicago, for instance, has opened the Crown Family Play Lab, which is all about hands-on experiences.  The key, there and at Bellaboo’s, is a simple one – children learn through play.  Everything is meant to be touched, moved, constructed, and played with.  At Bellaboo’s, activities will combine fun and entertainment leading to learning and development in a safe and secure environment. 


Educators, parents, and recreation professionals have long understood the value of play as it relates to the foundations for early learning.  When children use concrete objects in dramatic ways, such as playing in a pretend grocery store or a kid’s size construction zone, they learn social skills and competency.  Written cues through signs help children get ready to read and write.  They understand that the written symbols on paper carry meaning – even if they can’t yet read.   Play apparatus will help in motor development, including gross and fine motor skills.  

As adults, we may think children are “just playing”, but consider how much language development is happening as children respond to each other and work out the details of play. 

They’ll never know they’re learning. . . But, we will