March 2017

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Who, What, Why, When, Where, Wow

Who, What, Why, Where, Wow

Thousands of Church leaders are investing in their children's areas and we've shared a few of those reasons why. 

We fully believe in the impact that a ridiculously cool children's area has on your community - and so do our partners! The amount of children we reach every day is why we do what we do here at Worlds of Wow. We've been installing children's area for over 12 years and have had the opportunity to reach hundreds of churches, hundreds of volunteers, thousands of staff members and thousands of children. 

A safe and fun church is a must have for your children's area. A plain children's area can constrain your growth as decisions about church and memberships are formed based on the opportunities for the children of the family. 

What does your children's area look like? Is it welcoming? Is it engaging? Do kids want to stay?  We've spoken with pastors that are theming their children's area before finishing construction on major parts of their church. They know the impact that a fun, engaging environment has on a church community. When you reach the children, you reach the families. 

This is how you grow. How will YOUR church reach more children?

Join our Facebook page to stay updated on our latest projects! 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Importance of Pretend Play

The Importance of Pretend Play

Encourage your child to use their imagination — it’s not just fun, but builds learning skills too!

Young children learn by imagining and doing. Have you ever watched your child pick up a stone and pretend it is a zooming car, or hop a Lego across the table as if it were a person or a bunny? Your child is using an object to represent something else while giving it action and motion. But this pretend play is not as simple as it may seem. The process of pretending builds skills in many essential developmental areas.
  • Social and Emotional Skills
    When your child engages in pretend (or dramatic) play, he is actively experimenting with the social and emotional roles of life. Through cooperative play, he learns how to take turns, share responsibility, and creatively problem-solve. When your child pretends to be different characters, he has the experience of "walking in someone else's shoes," which helps teach the important moral development skill of empathy. It is normal for young children to see the world from their own egocentric point of view, but through maturation and cooperative play, your child will begin to understand the feelings of others. Your child also builds self-esteem when he discovers he can be anything just by pretending!
  • Language Skills
    Have you ever listened in as your child engages in imaginary play with his toys or friends? You will probably hear some words and phrases you never thought he knew! In fact, we often hear our own words reflected in the play of children. Kids can do a perfect imitation of mom, dad, and the teacher! Pretend play helps your child understand the power of language. In addition, by pretend playing with others, he learns that words give him the means to reenact a story or organize play. This process helps your child to make the connection between spoken and written language — a skill that will later help him learn to read.
  • Thinking Skills
    Pretend play provides your child with a variety of problems to solve. Whether it's two children wanting to play the same role or searching for the just right material to make a roof for the playhouse, your child calls upon important cognitive thinking skills that he will use in every aspect of his life, now and forever.

    Does your child enjoy a bit of roughhousing? Great! Some researchers in early brain development believe that this sort of play helps develop the part of the brain (the frontal lobe) that regulates behavior. So instead of worrying that this type of activity will encourage your child to act out or become too aggressive, be assured that within a monitored situation, roughhouse play can actually help your child learn the self-regulation skills needed to know how and when this type of play is appropriate.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Faith Promise Church Knoxville TN

#TBT to this awesome children's area transformation at Faith Promise in Knoxville TN!
FBC Kids Entrance - Check in Area

Children's Area Directional Signage

Children's Room Digital Wallcovering

Film reel Digital Wallcovering

Children's Room Digital Wallcovering

Film Posters - 2D Appliques

Children's Area Stage

Check in Kiosks at FBC

Children's Room Digital Wallcovering

FBC Kids Theatres Entrance - Check in Area

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

7 Keys to Reaching Young Families by Pastor Jeremy Wallace

Most churches and pastors I know want to reach young families. But how is that done? Here are 7 keys to help your church reach young families.

7 Keys to Reaching Young Families

1- Pursue Quality and Professionalism

The average young family is accustomed to quality everywhere they go. It is a part of their world. They go to doctors who are professional and have a high standard of quality. They take their kids to daycares and schools where quality and professionalism is expected. They do business with companies who are characterized in this way.
It is no wonder that they have come to expect churches to meet this same standard – and they should. Churches who care about reaching young families cannot settle for low quality in facilities or ministries.

2- Engage Them Online

This is nothing new, but churches who ignore their websites, social media, and other online avenues of engagement are missing a wonderful opportunity to connect with young families. This may take some effort and an organized strategy, but it is worth the effort.

3- Prioritize Children’s Ministry

Young families will probably have young children. A church that minimizes the importance of children’s ministries and facilities for children are subtly communicating that they really don’t care about reaching young families. Having a quality nursery and quality nursery workers is essential. If you desire to reach young families, ministries to children must be a priority.

4- Get Involved in the Community

Young families are not interested in simply coming and sitting in a pew each week. They want to be part of a church that goes out into the community and is concerned with making a difference. If a church simply goes through the motions of church, refusing to get involved in the community, they will not be a place young families will want to land.

5- Understand the Challenges They Face, Then Adjust When Possible

Young families face challenges, as do all people in all age groups. In an attempt to reach young families, be considerate of the challenges they face. For instance, if your church wants to see an increased involvement of young families in a particular ministry of the church, it would not be wise to have the ministry start late in the evening. Why? Young families are focused on getting their kids ready for school and in bed at a decent hour.
Adjustment may not always be possible, but when it is, making those adjustments communicates that you care about the challenges young families are facing.

6- Put Them in Positions of Leadership

Young adults have insights that are valuable and helpful. Failing to put them in positions of leadership communicates that you really don’t think they have much to offer.
Perhaps you have offered positions of leadership to them and they have declined. The next point may be why.

7- Focus More on Doing and Less on Meeting

Young adults are not interested in sitting in committee meetings discussing ministry. To them that is an unnecessary waste of time. They are willing to serve, but they are not interested in going through hours of meetings about serving.
Meet less and serve more and you will see the involvement of young families increase.
These are just a few ways that churches can intentionally reach out to young families. Do you agree? What are some other thoughts you have? Please comment below.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Increase Participation and Grow Memberships through Theme and Play!

Watch our quick video below for an informational overview on adding play! It's often said that if the kids are happy, mom and dad are happy. Create a destination for the kids and watch your memberships grow!

 Here are a couple of tips on getting started:

Contact a Wow! representative today to get started on your ridiculously cool, fun environment!


Friday, March 17, 2017

Wow! at The Metrowest YMCA!

WOW! at The Metrowest Y!

The YMCA is a remarkable, timeless institution, woven into the fabric of our communities for generations past, present and future. Yet modern day challenges competing for family memberships, coupled with flat or declining enrollment are real and not going away any time soon. 

Check out  a few of our YMCA projects here
How can Wow help transform your space ?

The YMCA is a remarkable, timeless institution, woven into the fabric of our communities for generations past, present and future. Yet modern day challenges competing for family memberships, coupled with flat or declining enrollment are real and not going away any time soon. 

Wow! adds Value: Unique designs, interactive play promotion, original theming, truly soft play environments, collaborative themes, and so much more!

The Benefits for your Y: Wow! adds value to exciting memberships, attracts new family units, emphasizes the Y's family focus, generates birthday party revenue, promotes healthy lifestyles, promotes self-advocacy, enhances social skills, and builds early childhood development.
See Behind The Wow 
Check out our new Wow production facility and studio. We have 21,000 sq ft of facility to concept, fabricate, paint and build all of the ingredients for an awesome space for kids and families. See below for some photos of our new facility and click here to see even more photos of Wow!   
Through our creative process, Wow! partners with you through conversation and story-telling, character development and animated renderings to aid in a story line that captures your vision, passion, and emotion. Creating interactive art-worthy elements that incorporate interactive play, realism, and occasionally whimsical fun, is where Wow! lives everyday!

Friday, March 10, 2017

An Environment that Positively Impacts Young Children

An Environment that Positively Impacts Young Children
By Rebecaa Isbell, Ed.D.

Jessica, age four, enters her new preschool classroom for the very first time. She looks around and tries to determine what happens in this space? Does she belong here? Will it be an interesting place to spend her days? Will she be supported as she grows and develops?Jessica will discover the answers through her interactions with the physical environment of her classroom. If she spends her day in an effectively designed environment, Jessica will be physically, emotionally, aesthetically, and intellectually nurtured. This appropriate environment can maximize her intellectual potential and provide a foundation for the development of her emotional security. Young children strive to make sense of the world in which they live. They try to organize the visual images and concrete objects in their environment into meaningful systems. Children want to determine how the space works and what activities can happen in this place. Today's young children are spending a large number of hours in a "new" environment—child care. Some children who begin attending child care in infancy may spend as much as 12,000 hours in this setting. This massive number of hours in one environment demands that the space be carefully designed to create the "best" place possible for young children.

Specific design techniques, when combined with a caring teacher, can help the environment become a wonderful place for nurturing the development of young children. Children who live in this classroom will have many opportunities for expanding their knowledge by actively participating in a world that is appropriate for their level of development. It will include spaces for active play as well as spaces for privacy. Opportunities are provided for a child to work quietly and areas are available where small groups can collaborate on a project. 
The first step in creating an appropriate environment for infants, toddlers, and preschool children is to examine how young children learn and develop.

Each stage of development has unique characteristics that influence how a child will experience his or her environment. For example, infants and toddlers learn about their world by acting on objects and materials in their environment. As the toddler feels the texture of a beach ball, pushes the air filled object, and rolls it across the carpeted floor, he constructs an understanding of the ball. Because infants and toddlers learn by interacting with the environment, their space must be designed with many opportunities for physically exploring real materials. Varied materials are stored where the child can easily select them. Other items are placed where they are not visible but can be retrieved when a specific activity or individual need occurs.

Preschoolers are active learners who continue to examine materials while beginning to use objects in more complex combinations. They are developing symbolic representation as they take on roles and participate in socio-dramatic play. Their language explodes during this period as they try to find "labels" for the objects and people in their world. Language gives young children the power to question and find answers.

Learning centers are effective ways to organize and support these developing abilities. The center areas clearly communicate to preschoolers what activity occurs in this area and the available materials that will stimulate their play. Traditional centers as well as unique centers encourage language interactions, socio-dramatic play, and the construction of experiences based on their level of understanding. By adding literacy materials including books, paper and writing tools, this construction will include "reading and writing" opportunities.

Brain Development During the Early Years

Early childhood educators and neurologists agree that the first eight years are a critical time of brain development. Infants come into the world with a brain waiting to be woven into the complex fabric of the mind. Some neurons in the brain are wired before birth, but many are waiting to be programmed by early experiences. The early environment where young children live will help determine the direction of their brain development. Children who have severely limited opportunities for appropriate experiences will be delayed; this may permanently affect their learning. But, children who have the opportunity to develop in an organized and appropriate environment are challenged to think and use materials in new ways.

Visual Environment
During the first eight years, children are developing their visual acuity. Their perceptions of objects, movement, and print are expanded as they have opportunities for experiencing interesting visual images. Changes and variations of design intrigue children and cause them to visually attend to the unusual. The young child's environment that includes interesting visual aspects draws them to examine a painting on the wall or recognize a drawing that they have completed. Displays and panels provide visually interesting content to examine as children move about in the classroom space. In the past, many early childhood classrooms were so filled with commercial decorations, materials and, "stuff" that young children were visually overwhelmed. Today, we are working to have less clutter and a more organized display of materials and work, so young children can visually attend to and enjoy the important features of the environment.

Auditory Environment
Music and sound patterns stimulate several portions of the young child's brain. A variety of music and instruments can expand the sound world of young children, while developing musical enjoyment. Singing in circle time and during transitions encourages the children to discriminate sounds and identify familiar patterns. Making music with simple rhythm instruments provides opportunities for children to connect the object with the sound that it produces and to control the production. Recordings of vocals, instrumentals, and folk instruments provide another listening experience that expands the auditory environment for young children. Providing a special area for group participation, as well as a center where sounds can be explored individually, can add to the auditory possibilities of the classroom.

Integrated Environment
Young children make many connections when they participate in meaningful activities. Integrated activities that connect several types of learning are particularly effective for preschool children. These experiences provide stimulation for several portions of the brain and make additional connections that extend learning. Some of the experiences that are particularly powerful for integrated learning and building connections are learning centers, thematic episodes, and projects. To support integrated learning, materials must be readily accessible to the play areas and stored so that they can be selected and included in the play. To encourage the continuation of projects, there must be places to carefully store objects while the work is in progress.

Emotional Environment
It has been suggested that the emotions of children are strongly influenced by the responsiveness of the caregiver during the first years of life. If the child's joy is reflected by the caregiver and the emotion is reciprocated, the child's security is strengthened. If the child's emotion is interpreted as annoying by the caregiver, the circuits become confused. A caring and responsive caregiver provides a positive climate for young children that will impact not only emotional security but also many aspects of cognitive development. Children who feel secure and supported will experiment, try new things, and express their ideas.
The appropriate emotional environment also respects young children, while understanding individual differences. This means that each child has a place to collect "valuable" things—their pictures and work are displayed in the classroom. There is a place where the child can retreat when things get too busy, or when he becomes tired.

Independent Learners
An independent learner is able to make personal choices and carry out an appropriate plan of action. Beginning in infancy and toddlerhood and continuing throughout childhood, there is the growing need to become an independent person. Children want to do things for themselves and in their own way. Preschoolers become increasingly competent in making choices, creating a plan, and following through with a project or experience. If children's ideas are valued and their interest followed they will work on projects for long periods of time. This process is supported in an environment where children are able to revisit and reflect on their plans, while using their knowledge in ways that are meaningful for them.
An effective environment is designed so even the youngest of children can become independent. There are many opportunities for them to be successful as they work to do things for themselves. They are not dependent on the teacher and constantly asking for every material they need. An orderly display of accessible materials grouped together will help children understand that they are capable of making decisions. The environment will communicate to them, "you can make the selection, you have good ideas, and you can carry out the plan for yourself."

Influence of Environment on Children's Behaviors
The environment in which young children live tells them how to act and respond. A large open space in the center of the classroom clearly invites young children to run across the area. If few materials are available to use, children will create interesting happenings, including conflict. If the procedures for using learning centers are not predictable and easily understood, the children will wander in and out of the areas with little involvement in play. The arrangement and materials in the environment will determine the areas where children focus their work. It will also influence the number of conflicts that occur or the way the group works together. If the materials are hard plastic, the children are invited to be rough with the objects with little concern for their treatment. If a beautiful flower arrangement is on the table, they will learn to visually examine the flowers and gently handle the delicate blooms. Children learn to be respectful of their environment if they have opportunities to care for beautiful objects and materials.

Young children respond differently, based on the design of the environment in which they live. An effectively designed classroom has the potential for positively influencing all areas of children's development: physical, social /emotional, and cognitive. Language and learning are nurtured in an environment that values and plans appropriate opportunities. The environment can support the development of behaviors that are valued in our society, such as cooperation and persistence. An aesthetically pleasing space can develop a child's appreciation for the beautiful world around them. Most importantly, quality environment can provide a home like setting that "feels" like a good place to be.

Rebecaa Isbell, Ed.D., has been a teacher of young children, director of a Child Study Center, and professor of Early Childhood Education. Currently she is Director of the Tennessee Center of Excellence in Early Childhood Learning and Development, located at East Tennessee State University. She is the author of six books related to early childhood education including, Early Learning Environments that Work. Early Environments that Work, by Rebecca Isabell, Ed.D., and Betty Exelby, is an innovative guide for teachers who want to make the most of their classroom environment. For more information, please contact Gryphon House at 800-638-0928 or

A Place to Begin: Take a New Look at Your Classroom
If you want to create a beautiful environment for you and your children, take this simple survey of your classroom. Get down on the children's level and discover what they see. Take photographs to "really see" the space.
1.       When a child enters the classroom, do they see an attractive space?
2.       Will the child find this place to be warm and homelike?
3.       Are the children's materials grouped together based on how they are used?
4.       What are the sounds of the classroom?
5.       Can each child recognize who lives and works in this space?
6.       Is children's work displayed in an attractive manner that can be appreciated?
7.       Are a variety of areas available: quiet, active, messy, and large or small group?
8.       Is there a place to pause and reflect?
9.       Is there a beautiful area or display that can be enjoyed?
10.    Is there a teacher who wants to create a wonderful space for children?

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Worlds of Wow Dental Designs

Worlds of Wow creates and installs incredible, over the top themed environments, 3D logos, and amazing play structures for the pediatric dental industry as well as Churches, YMCA'S, Family Entertainment Centers, and Military. This includes waiting room lobby's, check in desk areas, examination rooms, signage, and external facade 3D signs and logos.

Worlds of Wow also specializes in indoor & outdoor play units. One aspect of Worlds of Wow is that they can do both indoor, outoor , soft play units along with full theming of your space including 3D characters & elements, airbrushing, digital wall coverings, signage, pretty much if you can think of it, they can do. 

Utilizing our years of experience and custom solutions we want to be a partner for you in the very competitive pediatric dentist field. Our goal is to help you reach your full potential and have every patient enjoy the experience of coming to your practice.