FALLS CHURCH, Va. (DC NEWS NOW) — Students at Beech Tree Elementary are learning science, math, and social skills in a fun new way.

It took a lot of planning, and an entire summer of hard work from art teacher Greg Skrtic and school counselor Yolonda Adams.

Together, the pair tackled the challenge of combining art, therapy a learning into a fun new way to play.

“As a counselor, coming out of the pandemic, I really thought about different ways to engage students. Not only physically, but mentally, as well. This is a great way to engage them, and engage them in a fun way,” said Adams.

Adams brought the idea for a sensory blacktop to Skrtic. He began measuring the blacktop and buying utensils to create the colorful shapes and games that now fill the blacktop. Skrtic says it took many months in the summer heat and help from community members to complete the project.

“I love these kids. Everything I do is for these kids,” said Skrtic.

The sensory blacktop games range from a map of the United States, a place to learn and practice yoga poses, and a conflict resolution circle.

Adams says the skills students learn while outside are brought back into the classroom.

“With the conflict resolution circle, I will have students tell me they went outside and resolved their own conflict. It’s an innovative way for students to be proactive … when they can go to the circle and talk it out,” said Adams.

Fifth grader Josie Rosenthal says she looks forward to her time outside every day.

“I think this is really cool and I like how everybody worked together to create this so students can have fun,” said Rosenthal.