BETHLEHEM — The Delmar Presbyterian Church has installed a playground with specific goals in mind.
According to Rev. Karen S. Pollan, Pastor of DPC, the playground is intended to be as inclusive as possible for all children. Since playground equipment is expensive, the selection process was carefully researched.
One unique playground feature is the spinning play items, such as the Supernova — a tilted merry-go-round that children can lie, sit, walk or run on it.
Why is spinning desirable? Most children simply find it fun to spin, but there are developmental advantages as well. According to research, rocking and spinning stimulate the vestibular system in the inner ear, and this sensory system is important to develop in all children and especially helpful for children who may have impairment in mobility and lack the ability to rock or spin un-aided. The vestibular system assists balance, a sense of motion and spatial orientation. Another benefit of spinning is that some children with special needs find spinning a source of comfort and/or a release from anxiety.
While all the equipment on this playground is designed for children 5-12 years in age, the spinner bowl will accommodate toddlers to teens. Children will find that walking or running on the Supernova isn’t easy, and it takes practice to develop the skill to stay upright.
There is also a multi-activity structure that incorporates a curly climber/slider that a child can climb and spin down or access from the top platform and spin down. This playground piece, with a lookout tower, has a climbing wall, slide, climbing pole, and toe cleats and handles so the entire perimeter of the structure can be traversed without touching the ground. Lastly, there is large arc for climbing and developing upper body strength.
The Delmar Presbyterian Church, situated on the corner of Delaware and Cherry avenues, welcomes the community to use the playground from dawn to dusk. Adult supervision of children is requested, and safety should always be kept in mind.