New Play Yard Helps Lower Schoolers Develop Upper Body and Core Strength

By: Amanda Pike
Lower School Director

Berkeley Carroll opened its new, improved yard space at 712 Carroll St. this fall, a development which thrilled the PreK and kindergarten students who now use it on a daily basis. The yard includes parallel bars, turning bars, a one-way rubber track for running and tricycle riding, artificial grass and a climbing structure called a Spaceball.


The project took about two weeks to complete, from demolition to opening. The endeavor was the result of the efforts of a committee made up of teachers and administrators, including Kindergarten Head Teacher Victoria Misrock-Stein, who led the group, PE Teacher Lawrence Yasner, Learning Specialist Diana Richardson, PreK Head Teacher Heather Meagher, Lower School Director Amanda Pike and Head of School Bob Vitalo.

This group, which consulted with other faculty on the types of things the members hoped to see in a new yard, came to the conclusion that providing children with appropriately challenging equipment which would help them work on upper body and core strength was an important goal. Another objective was to create a defined space for children to ride tricycles or run safely. Both of these goals were met in the final design of the yard.

As each class came out for its turn in the yard, Lower School Director Amanda Pike and Assistant Director of the Lower School Ellen Arana welcomed the students with a ribbon cutting ceremony. They discussed some ground rules for using the new (one-way!) track and the colorful climbing equipment before the students tried out the space for the first time.


BC also worked with Designed for Fun, which has designed and installed many playgrounds and school yards in the New York City. The company helped the school choose the equipment and worked with BC to come up with a design for the yard which will allow students to have fun and develop their physical skills for years to come.

Not to be outdone, the 701 Carroll St. yard space also got a Spaceball of its own in November.

See more photos of the new yard.