The environment at Woods Hollow is uniquely designed to meet the needs of children, parents, and staff members, and reflects its underlying philosophy.
Architecturally, our 26,000 square foot building is designed to reflect a village. It is composed of "houses" grouped around a community space called the "winter garden." Each House is home to a particular age group. The winter garden is a common area to be used by all as a gathering place for meals and various activities throughout the day.
In terms of defined physical space, our center is a community, which offers public and private spaces to its members.
Within each House and throughout the building, strict health and safety standards are followed. The building and all of its furnishings and fixtures are scaled to a young child's size. Color schemes are chosen to provide security and stimulation. Structural features, such as trusses, are painted boldly to draw children's attention to basic building components, inviting comments and questions about their environment.
Woods Hollow strives to create homelike classroom environments that include soft elements such as couches, cozy chairs, pillows, window coverings, and also natural components such as plants, wooden furnishings and non-toxic materials.
Individual rooms are designed and equipped with materials selected to support the use of planned interest areas for children, consistent with our hands-on and open-ended approach to early childhood education.
Attention to detail is evidenced in every aspect of the environment from the colors and textures of the floors to the size, height, and spacing of windows. The result is a building which invites the activity of people of all ages and encourages the development of a real sense of community.
Children, parents, and staff members are Woods Hollow all thrive in an environment and
carefully designed to meet their needs.
Outdoor spaces are also divided into three separate playgrounds; an infant area which is 2,788 square feet, toddler area which is 3,785 square feet, preschool/older children's area which is 41,666 square feet. The preschool/older children's area is divided into zones for particular age groups.
The playgrounds include grassy areas, shade trees, canopies and pergolas, sandboxes, age specific climbers, gardens, hills with built in slides, and a bike track with a bike shed. Other areas of the playground included gardens, stages, bluebird houses, and a gazebo.
The butterfly garden is an area in the front of the building where a path leads to bird feeders, bird baths, and native prairie plants that are known to attract butterflies. This area also attracts many species of birds and other visitors such as squirrels, ground squirrels, and insects. It is visible from the entrance, classrooms and an indoor large motor area (mezzanine) so that children can regularly observe the plants growing and the different animal visitors it attracts.
Natural landscaping welcomes active, inquisitive play; pathways, sand boxes, climbers, and slides built into hills offer endless options for growing bodies. Equipment and materials are carefully selected to ensure safety and to minimize risks associated with injury.