The Scribbly Gum playground at Pelican Waters on the Sunshine Coast was designed by Anembo Landscape Architects with Playscape Creations being involved not only in delivering the play structures but also the overall play / park activation programme – a ‘layer of excellence’ which inspired the developer to go beyond the status quo.
The playground includes six zones of play; the Swing zone, the Cozy Dome zone, the Smart Play zone, two ground level play zones, and providing crowning visual impact on top of the earth mound the Netplex zone. Each of these zones offers a different type of play experience that helps children build their physical, sensory and social skills while they play. The close proximity of each area enables a parent to keep track of several children playing in different areas at one time.
This Netplex unit is the eye catcher of the site and invites people in to explore its varied challenges. Keeping children engaged on the playground for longer it offers spinning, sliding, climbing, monkey bars, tight rope and the ‘surf board’, which can be used as a simple rocker or for the older children, a difficult surfing challenge that begs to be mastered.
The central tower’s climber gives levels of climbing challenge and ‘hang out’ seats along the way. Accessing from the internal portal or climbing up the outside, the height of the climber provides a rewarding spot at the top to stop and decide which challenge to take on next.
The Smart Play Motion was incorporated in the junior play zone with 16 individual play activities packed into a small footprint, including a race car track at the top of the upper level. Surrounded by a whale, domes and sand play, this zone is full of the sensory stimulation the younger children need. Children of all ages and abilities will find a full variety of sensory play experiences in this play space, with a mix of play surfaces to support the type of play experience found in each area.
It is important for ALL children to have variety of sensory experiences for healthy development. These include experiences that involve movement (vestibular system), climbing (proprioceptive system) and a mix of tactile, visual and auditory experiences, giving each child the “just right” play challenges.
Additional park activation is provided by sign games on bollards like “spot the frog” where seekers have to find a hidden Anembo frog in the landscape – leading to visitors exploring and utilising the entire park space.
Playscape Creations was also able to provide 3rd party peer review by American occupational therapist Ingrid Kanics – a valuable resource for the developer to educate and stimulate the community.