The Children’s Museum of Richmond’s philosophy “learning through play”, is taking on an entirely new meaning through CMoR’s recently innovative playground at its downtown location.
The state of the art playground is designed to serve not only the patrons of the museum, but also the YWCA Sprout students who are daycare students at CMoR downtown.
A collaboration from start to finish, students from the Sprout school as well as Richmond community members collaborated to design the unique play area.
As CMoR is devoted to serving its community and enriching childrens’ experiences through play, the staff along with volunteers installed the KABOOM! Playspace. CarMax, through its partnership with KABOOM! Provided the majority of funding for the project.
My 4 year old son simply loved every bit of this play area. This particular “exhibit” of CMoR was fully sensory for him. He took such delight in making music with the oversized instruments, and the ones he could use with his feet.
He climbed every ladder, tower and “mountain” he possibly could. While the sign on the larger structure says it’s for 5-12 year olds, Gus found the larger structure to be challenging, but still fun for him.
The smaller, insect-themed play structure was still exciting, though as he whizzed down the slide time and time again.
In addition to the main play structures, there are small ride-on toys like tricycles for younger children.
As always, CMoR encourages positive conversations between caregivers and children, with guiding questions on signage. “Why do you think….?” “How could we…?” This aspect is my favorite because it’s unique to CMoR’s play space.
We don’t normally take advantage of our playground time to have these particular discussions, and it was so easy, thanks to the signage and placement of the equipment.
The inclusivity of the space is evident. From the bilingual signs, to the ADA accessible features, like the wobble pod bouncers, boogie board and grab bar, the detail in the design ensures this is truly a space for everyone.
These features offer yet another talking point. Pointing out words en Español can lead to learning about another culture; novel playground gear can start a conversation about the value in diversity and differences.
Again, gratitude to the entire team – children, donors, staff – who thoughtfully designed and installed this outdoor play space to invite all children and their caregivers to learn and play.
How to Save at the Children’s Museum of Richmond
— By Lindsay Garrison