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Nixa adds sensory path to Gardens at Woodfield Park

Published: Oct. 15, 2021 at 4:32 PM CDT
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NIXA, Mo. (KY3) - A new sensory path is now open at the Gardens at Woodfield in Nixa. The path is a half mile with seven different components that will benefit children with all abilities. Parks and Recreation Director Matt Kraus said the sensory path will help develop motor skills, balance, hand-eye coordination, and spatial awareness.

The Nixa Community Foundation awarded the department a $1,700 grant for supplies. Kraus said this is the first sensory component in Nixa. There’s a bear crawl, different surfaces such as rock, wood, mulch and turf that you can walk over. There’s also a spray painted “ocean” with numbers and differed colored fish.

”You’ve got a child with autism or on the spectrum in some way that can definitely enhance their ability to come and participate,” said Kraus. “It’s the same thing for a toddler and being able to help read or count numbers or say colors as they jump and kind of bend down and do a bear crawl. It just plays a lot of different components and falling direction and that type of thing, which can help everyone.”

The project started when students from Nixa Public Schools used sidewalk chalk along the path. Kraus said it was a hit and they started the expansion of adding other sensory stops with the opportunity to expand in the future. The Christian County Library also has a walking storybook along the path.

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