About Bellaboo's Play & 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.
- The fun Discovery Play Center is designed for children from infancy through age nine.
- The colorful and imaginative center features 23,000 square foot of hands-on activities.
- Self-guided play in a child-sized supermarket, construction zone, and pizza parlor, for example, will provide areas for children not only to interact with others, but to participate in dramatic play that stimulates intellectual growth.
- Additional elements include block play, do-it-yourself face painting, an art studio, dress-up, water tables, soft-contained-play equipment, a reading room, children’s do-it-yourself cooking, a performance area, and space just for infants and toddlers with developmentally-appropriate play activities.
- Children must be with an adult. Bellaboo's is not a daycare center or drop off location.
- Adults are not permitted in Bellaboo's without a child.
- Reservations for group field trips and birthday parties may be made by calling 219-963-2070.
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.
- Café seating for nearly 180 people located in the center of the building surrounded by the play areas.
- Five private birthday party rooms are the perfect place for that special birthday boy or girl.
- The Center also fits the needs of preschool and elementary grade school field trips with age appropriate curriculum.
- While the focus is on non-structured play, special activities and adult-guided programs will also be scheduled.
- The Center is open year-round.
- It is the place to bring little ones for learning and lots of fun.