A garden theme with custom playground sculptures and structures informed this child care centre playground at the Kitchener YMCA. With areas designed for active, dramatic, social and passive play it checks all of the boxes for an ideal outdoor space. The undeniable centrepiece of the ‘garden’ is a sixteen foot climbable red slug. The slug is an ideal play piece as it presents a graduated gross motor development opportunity but also creates a sheltered space where preschoolers can pretend to hide-away out of site (but not really).
The garden theme is carried through to the gnome hut – a playful and whimsical house-like structure where children can socialize and imagine. Surrounding planters and vegetation are used as a part of the educational curriculum. A water feature provides a water source for the gardens and also gives children the chance to get wet and messy with water and sand. The Ipe Grove offers height and seclusion for little ones who might imagine they are walking in a forest. The posts can also be used to weave rope or fabric to create new intimate spaces or interesting navigational challenges.