Imagination Playground

Written by: Imagination Playground | Published:

Imagination Playground is a unique and exciting product designed by internationally acclaimed architect, David Rockwell, specifically to encourage child-directed, unstructured free play.

Children (aged two and above) use the blocks and their own creativity to transform any space – large or small, indoors or outdoors – into a play space that encourages learning, social development, movement, and above all fun.

Imagination Playground is a mobile play system made up of big blue blocks in many unique shapes and sizes. It comes in two storage-friendly, portable carts that can be wheeled through a standard-sized door.

Using Imagination Playground blocks, children build a new world every day. They make objects like animals, rocket ships, cars and robots. They make imaginary places like houses, factories and cities. They make new dramatic scenarios, settings and games to play. Most importantly, they make the rules – because Imagination Playground is child-directed and open-ended, it encourages self-expression through deep, joyful play.

Imagination Playground contains a wide variety of loose parts, including cubes, bricks, cogs, curves and cylinders. But the parts are not simply loose. They have holes and shapes that fit together in ways that allow the continuation of a child's idea. A pair becomes a wall. A wall becomes a room. A room becomes a house. The pieces fit together to make immersive play last a long time.

Researchers have long known that playing with blocks helps children to develop cognitive and social skills. Imagination Playground blocks combine all of the benefits of block play on a larger-than-life-size scale that encourages children to play together in groups and feed their imagination and creativity.

Unstructured, child-directed play is a critical component of healthy, social, emotional and intellectual development. Unlike toys and games, Imagination Playground blocks don't dictate to children the way they're meant to be played with. Children literally make their own open-ended fun. There's no right or wrong way to play with them. That's also why Imagination Playground is only available in one colour; this facilitates more imaginative play without any distraction or competition that might arise from having multi-coloured toys.

Not only for break-time, Imagination Playground has also been used successfully by teachers during lessons to provide a more visual, fun way of teaching mathematics, science and art.

Imagination Playground blocks are made of lightweight foam that is non-toxic and resistant to germs, mould and mildew. When exposed to an open flame, the blocks will smoulder but not catch fire. They are sturdy enough to withstand the elements, but soft enough for children to play with safely.

"The driving force behind Imagination Playground is to provide a way to encourage children to do what they do best – to be creative and to use their imaginations." David Rockwell, CEO of Rockwell Group and designer of Imagination Playground.

"It is not a five-minute wonder, the children keep playing and playing. Imagination Playground ticks all the boxes for free play." Dr Amanda Gummer, child psychologist.

"The Imagination Playground has been used continuously for two years in our school by both girls and boys to stimulate imaginative play. It helps cooperative and collaborative play and enhances their social skills." Maggie Robertson, headteacher, Riverbridge Primary School.

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