We had a slower day for the most part today so I want to take this chance to give you an idea of our play center. Patty took these pictures early one morning before opening time.
Most of our supplies come from large suit cases CDS calls “Kits of Comfort”:
In these suit cases are toys geared toward providing child-lead play opportunities and include emergency vehicle toys, doctor-kits, blocks, construction toys, etc.
From these, and whatever else we can find, we set up our play area. During the Joplin tornado last year, the company Creative Playthings decided they want to start helping CDS out at each disaster and they donated a tun of things for our play space here in Oklahoma. The colorful gate/wall in the pictures is from them as we’ll as some shelving and toys. My teammates say they have normally just constructed some sort of walls with whatever they can find on other disaster trips (cardboard boxes, chairs, tables on their sides,etc). So this is luxury!
We can’t travel with the things from Creative Playthings so there is already a plan of where we will be donating them here in the community when we leave. And from what I understand Creative Playthings is planning on continuing to donate to CDS during each disaster. Pretty cool!
A couple days ago we also constructed a basketball area which has been a huge hit. See the hoop??
For all you child life specialists, we have been doing a lot of child-directed medical play. Here is a medical team working hard to get a “tiger” out of Kathy’s ear. Good thing this little girl is wearing her medical glasses!
And on a side note….I’m realizing there’s one constant life-stressor for me that has been nonexistent on this trip and I’m loving it!! It’s not having to plan or cook my own food! The Red Cross takes care of our breakfasts and dinners and the Salvation Army makes all our lunches in the center every day. It’s simply heaven for me. My teammate Kathy and I have become (as she describes it) ice cream designers. We get really into a very calculated plan for our deserts each night- how much and when to add hot fudge, etc. I can’t describe to you the joy this brings me!!
(BTW Ignore the fruit in the background…this moment’s all about ice cream toppings.) The food service people know us well by now and I’m not sure I want to leave this!!