Enrichment Workshops and Centers

A major shift has occurred in Western societies on how we look at leisure activities. It used to be that people thought leisure was the reward for hard work. Work was associated with self-improvement and leisure with relaxation that had no other practical use. Today, people, including most harried parents, are using their scarce, but more highly valued leisure time differently. Most adults have an entirely new attitude about leisure. They see leisure time as an opportunity to improve themselves and their children and do worthwhile things, rather than for strictly purposeless relaxation and entertainment.

During the past decade, our company has been researching this trend and incorporating educational and enriching activities in the centers we produce for clients to capitalize on this shift in values. The children's edutainment center concepts we have evolved are one example. Edutainment is educational and enriching, but with edutainment, the entertainment or fun components are the primary draw rather than the learning component.

We use the term enrichment to denote learning opportunities, where the educational component is the primary draw, with the experience being more structured and scheduled, but also enjoyable. Many of the projects we produce include enrichment components. In edutainment facilities, we often design spaces so they can also be used for facilitated enrichment, such as a scheduled workshop or hands-on learning experience in a creative art studio or in an outdoor nature area. We also design facilities so they can be used for curriculum-based educational school field trips for children in preschools through middle school. Our Education & Child Development Director develops specific curriculum for the field trips based upon state educational guidelines or frameworks, including pre- and post-trip teacher classroom guides. When enrichment is added to a leisure project, it can generate attendance and revenue in what would normally be down times.

In many of our projects, we are designing dedicated enrichment centers. These are separate areas in children's edutainment centers or family lifestyle centers (a combination of entertainment, edutainment and enrichment). They have dedicated studios for specific subjects that can accommodate workshops and classes for not only children of all ages, but their parents as well. Examples include nature areas, papermaking studios, cooking, robotics, and digital photography.