Discovery Island Playground

Discovery Island Playground


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    Tasked with creating an outdoor preschooler’s playground that reflects the surrounding coastal neighborhood, Cloudberry created an innovative outdoor playground. Featuring playful, natural elements and encouraging musical creativity, the playground incorporates emerging playground ideas with a custom, localized experience that lets young imaginations run wild. The playground “keeps wonder local” by connecting children to their environment and the surrounding landscape while they climb, run, and discover, all in one place.

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    LIGHTHOUSE: The primary iconic element of the whole playground is the lighthouse, complete with a solar-powered light. Preschool “keepers” can run up the spiral staircase inside, peer out the binoculars to spot approaching ships, and whisper their report into talking tubes, which snake through different parts of the playground. From there, kids can zip down either a tube slide or a fireman’s pole to hide in a cave, climb up the jetty, relax in a hammock swing, or try a new lookout from the top of the climbing boulder.

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    SAILBOAT: Preschoolers become “captains” on the S.S. Sailboat, complete with an anchor to drop, a wheel to steer, and a telescope, signal bell, and flag to navigate the imaginary seas. Kids can climb over wavy seas, up the back of the ship’s cargo net, through life rings at the bow of the ship, and into a maze of masts reminiscent of the ships docked in the nearby bay. At the “Sounds of the Sea” panel, they can hear waves, seagulls, horns, and sing-a-long songs, all with the push of a button. Mid-ship talking tubes connect the sailboat to the beach station and the lighthouse.

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    OUTDOOR STAGE: In the center of the playground is a circular, stepped stage that can serve as a classroom during nice days, a theater area for special events or community programming, or simply an area for children to gather and work on projects. Flanking the stage is a cottage area and garden, in case those same small groups need to get out of the sun or the rain. Quiet nooks for reading or individual play and nearby planting beds for class or community gardens encourage hands-on environmental learning.

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    MUSIC PLAY/SOUND TUBES: The musical play center connects children to other cultures as it harnesses the desire in every child to drum! Modernized wooden and steel tongue drums create deep pentatonically-tuned notes that vibrate up and through a child’s body. Curious children discover a pebble harp, played by dropping stones over strings, and pipes on top of separate poles, all surrounded by a musical fence. Based on the Latin American Guiro, this innovative one-of-a-kind instrument is percussive and bell-like, all at the same time. Kids will move to the beat as they dance or jump around the freestanding hopping posts.

Site Plan: