For example the conventional bubble pod was located in a sea of cornflowers

For example the conventional bubble pod was located

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based on different themes. For example, the conventional bubble pod was located in a sea of cornflowers. Children could use the pod and slide down the bubble slide attached to it, pretending they were on a surfaced submarine in the middle of a sweet smelling ocean. In another part of the garden, play equipment such as metal tubes, drum sticks, feathers and bows were converted by children into wonderful imaginary worlds of sound. Simply by choosing the order in which they hit or rubbed various materials, children created symphonies of bells, buzzes, horns and thumps. One child would call to another in a secret pre- arranged sequence of sounds and they would giggle at their private language. The most interesting development in this imaginative playground was the use of conventional play equipment in an unconventional and provocative way. As Jean Chappet, a play environment designer with the non-profit organization Innovative Play Structures Research Project August, 2001 Page 63
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Boundless Play stated: “Play happens in the minds of children through the connections they make given basic elements”. The Disney Kid’s Garden was designed in a collaborative effort between landscape architects, play equipment designers, horticulturalists, behaviour specialists, children and parents. This cross disciplinary and cross generational approach is a model that has resulted in a very successful integration of unique and prefabricated products and ideas. The Kid’s Garden is an example that can be followed by others wishing to design imaginative playgrounds without abandoning the care, safety and expertise professional play structure companies bring to the table. Valybyparken - Hans Tavsen, Netherlands A good example of the practice of incorporating the imagination into the play environment is Valybyparken, Netherlands. Here children climb offset concrete walls incised and sandblasted with fossils and animals that serve as footholds. They can pretend they are climbing mountains and buildings on dangerous missions. In another part of the playground, mother and child hippopotamuses carved from local elm trees serve as benches and riding play elements for children who imagine them to be rising from a deep pool of water represented by dark granite granular fill. A Stonehenge of sorts allows children to climb, play statues and watch the sun transform the space around the monoliths with shadows. Children pretend the monolithic trunks are everything from totems, to forests, to the entrances to special rooms in their imaginary worlds. In other parts of the Netherlands, designers have transformed spaces into articulated forms and earth sculptures. The soft, rounded shapes of dragons, dinosaurs and snakes are used, Innovative Play Structures Research Project August, 2001 Page 64
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especially for their soft undulating shapes that invite mystery and movement in every bend. Some built examples include Fafner, the earth snake playground in Faelledspasken, asphalt amoeba skating court, Rodegard’s special worm made of plant
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