There's a new Outdoor Sensory Path located in Memorial Park in the Village of Oakfield. The park is located at 15 Main St.
If you are a parent or guardian looking for new safe socially distanced activities and playtime fun for children, check it out!
"I know as a school-based physical therapist, children do not get enough physical activity!" Oakfield resident Dennille Marble wrote in an email to The Batavian, adding that people want more safe outdoor play options for kids.
With those two things in mind, Marble and her colleagues, set their minds to create something kids could enjoy outside.
They agreed that an outside sensory path in Memorial Park offering "social-distancing-approved recess activities" seemed like the perfect answer: It's safe (away from traffic), shaded, and already had a nice path through it.
When approached, the village board enthusiastically approved the idea.
According to the Village of Oakfield's website, the Oakfield-Alabama Central School District's occupational therapy and physical "Therapy Team of Mrs. Marble, Mrs. Domoy, Mrs. Taylor and Mrs. Pfennig worked tirelessly in the heat to design and paint a Sensory Path in Memorial Park. Everyone is welcome to use the path as the activities have been modified to fit everyone's own ability and safety.
"The path and park are wheelchair accessible. The Village Board would like to thank the Therapy Team for all of their hard work in putting this together as we are sure it will be put to good use!
Although some finishing touches are still forthcoming, it is now open and ready to be used by the community; all ages and abilities are welcome.
Some activities have suggested alternatives in parentheses for those who may need a modification due to a limitation or for other safety reasons. If there's no alternative, "follow the lines," according to the therapy team.
The sensory path is intended to encourage the development of motor skills, improve balance and coordination, and sharpen spatial and sensory awareness.
"I think it's an overall good addition to the community," said Village of Oakfield Mayor David Boyle. "The park itself is very tranquil. So having (sensory path) activities like this is a good use in a tranquil space. It's appealing."
As of this afternoon, Boyle, who's apparently a kid at heart, hadn't yet gone to the path, nor tried the suggested activities, like galloping, walking like a crab, or hopping on one foot. But he says he plans to and soon. (Perhaps he'll send a photo, or better yet a video, proving this to The Batavian.)
(To access the park and sensory path, park in the municipal parking lot directly across the street from the Crazy Cheap Cars dealership at 8 Main St. and the park is at the back of the municipal parking lot.)
Images courtesy of Dennille Marble.