Flip This Playground, a Project of the Valley of the Sun Chapter of AZAEYC

Valley of the Sun Chapter of the Arizona AEYC received a mini-grant from Defending the Early Years for its Flip This Playground Project.  The purpose of the project is to transform hardscape playgrounds into outdoor classrooms, including outdoor libraries, unique gardens, and music centers.  DEY received the following report:


We are pleased to report that all three play spaces have been installed at Sunrise Elementary in Phoenix, Arizona.

  • An outdoor library with high quality fiction and non-fiction publications. Offered in English/Spanish.
  • A water feature was added to the new sandbox, offering children many enjoyed hours of construction.
  • A Mariposa Garden was installed with the help of the parent garden committee. The children and families planted the garden on a Saturday morning in October.  Two trees were donated by a local nursery.   Additional shrubs were planted that offered high nectar flowers, a strong attraction for butterflies.

An additional play space will be added in April, 2020.  We are designing an outdoor music center with instruments.  We call this space, Harmony Garden.   Surrounded by flowering shrubs, these instruments offer children and teachers a chance to create learning together.  We have raised half the funds with the help of the Arizona Coyotes Foundation.

We find that people are drawn to this idea that playgrounds can become so much more than they are today.  The idea, values set in motion, that children should play in beautiful spaces, which offer many play choices.

We would like to thank DEY for helping us launch this important program.  We encourage viewing our short video to learn more about FLIP THIS PLAYGROUND.


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