The story of a boy living with Type 1 and his family's journey to raise and train a diabetic alert dog.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

School Yards Are Not Just for Kids

Bo exploring the tree stump steps.
This weekend, I took Bo to the Peter Woodbury School Community School Yard to exercise and socialize. The newly built school yard features a natural landscape, garden, outdoor classroom, covered bridge, raised board walk, as well as a multi-level big toy. It made for a clean, safe and interesting outdoor experience. The same materials and textures designed for great sensory exploration for children, are also great for a pup being trained to be a service dog.

Bo liked running thru the tall grass.
At the school yard, Bo especially liked the tall grassy meadow areas and the rock gardens. He ate grass, found sticks to chew and ran in the open space. He found a couple empty water bottles, which he carried off proudly to chew-up. He also found a deflated soccer ball; it provided entertainment as well. I used treats to lure Bo up the steps of the big toy. The steps had holes in them and were made of metal, so they had an unusual sound and feel.

The Messy Materials section of the school yard was filled with wood scraps, tree stumps and branches, as well as the building creations of students. I clapped blocks together and tapped branches to get Bo's attention. He walked around sniffing the materials and attempted to jump on a raised block creation. When it toppled over he was taken back for a moment but then continued exploring. This area was one of his favorite and we returned to it several times to investigate. The video shows him sniffing and exploring in the Messy Materials.

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