Cherokee County Health Services Council
The Place Where They Play
The Tahlequah community is working on safe streets and place for children and adults (families) to have opportunities to walk and play. My project idea is to create play/panels that are connected or can stand alone that have "actions" such as "skip", "hop" or "jump" etched on the panels along with configurations of games both from the past and the present depicted on them. Each panel that has a game etched would have an audio device giving the instructions. The "See" and 'Say method would assist participants in learning the game.
Tahlequah is the capital of the Cherokee Nation so some of the games would be from games that Cherokee Children played historically. Norris Park was chosen because it is adjacent to the near downtown neighborhoods that have low income rental property and several low income apartment dwellings. Norris Park is in walking distance of these neighborhoods and is close to the new splash pad and a children's play area made up of slides, climbing walls and other play items. A new open pavilion for the Farmers Market is being build across the street from the park. The Trail system for walking and biking leads into and away from the park being an excellent place to develop children's emotional and physical needs through play.
This is a relative new park that has been developed by a family tearing down old tenant buildings and creating a park space for the community to gather. There is a playground, gazebo and park benches and sidewalks running through it however it needs some more inviting ways to connect the community with inspiring themes of play, inclusiveness, connecting the community by a common theme- "Play". Most adults have lost the ability to enjoy simple play activity. The activities on the panels will bring back memories of "good times" and their inter-child which will stimulate their mind, body and spirit. The behavioral change will take effect by the adults being able to interact with their children in a positive fund way. The tool kit will give them ideas to continue the "play with their children and help them understand the impact that "Play" has on their development during their formative years.
The play strategies designed in this project will impact Low income children and families by giving them opportunities to interact socially and it will assist with leveling the playing field in emotional development.
- Pamela Iron