Making education fun: Kids use their imagination in learning

HARLINGEN — A new kind of play.

The blue foam building blocks unveiled yesterday by the Boys and Girls Clubs of Harlingen offer a chance to learn without learning, to play without playing. In other words, a mindless joy which offers the fundamentals of learning.

“The Imagination Playground is a welcome addition to our programs that promote STEM learning for children,” said Gerald Gathright, director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Harlingen.

Gathright and other representatives of the Boys and Girls Clubs gathered at the Main Unit with administrators of the Harlingen school district for the unveiling.

Cheerleaders from both Harlingen High School and Harlingen High School South were on hand to celebrate the new equipment, which will be transported for use at different schools.

“I want to thank the Boys and Girls Clubs for partnering with the school district as we’re just getting ready for the school year,” said Harlingen CISD Superintendent Art Cavazos.

The Imagination Playground is a set of innovative play equipment made of high density foam pieces shaped like troughs, gears, balls, blocks and tubes. Children can use them to build boats, cars, planes and other structures. The activities allow them to learn engineering, construction and architecture while working as a team.

And, it’s all fun.

“We’re making it fun,” said Lupita Muniz, chief volunteer officer for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Harlingen.

“They don’t even realize they are exercising,” she said. “They are always creating and using their imagination. It’s wonderful for the children of the community.”

Of course, laying the foundation for a lifetime of exercise is always a priority, said Kathy Harris, associate director of community services.

“We funded it,” she said. “We want to help people live healthier lives. There’s no better place to start than when they’re young.”

Gathright echoed this sentiment.

“Whether with young children or teenagers, the play system will encourage teamwork, critical thinking, and creativity in a setting that cultivates fun and learning,” he said.

“The Imagination Playground will be offered to children from throughout the community through Boys and Girls Club sites, schools and school groups, and community groups.”

About UnitedHealthcare

It is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers.

About KaBOOM!

KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to giving all kids – particularly those growing up in poverty in America – the childhood they deserve filled with balanced and active play, so they can thrive.