Providing sensory experiences complements active playground products - it provides alternative opportunities for understanding the world.
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This can be achieved in many ways including landscaping, utilising long grasses or sensory planting. Timberplay also offer many products that appeal to the senses, which can be used effectively in many locations, from public play spaces, to museums, stately homes, special needs centres and schools.
Playing with sound is key to all of the sound and acoustic equipment, the opportunity to do so is as irresistible to adults as it is to young children. As you would expect, Richter Spielgeräte have developed an array of sound producing equipment, all available to the UK via Timberplay. The Singing Stone for example, is available in a number of sizes and styles, produced in naturally formed basalt. These curious products enable the user to find their own personal resonance when humming into a large head shaped hole. As the correct pitch is found, the stone seems to magically sing back to you. Similarly, the large granite tuning stone emits a rich tone when rubbed in a slow steady way. It takes practice, but the resulting sound is very gratifying.
One of the most popular sound play items is the Sound Cushions, an attractive product for all ages. Tones are produced as users hop, jump or run over the cushions. Simply springing across them at speed produces a series of fun sounds, but using a little more coordination can create recognisable tunes.
Optical illusions or playing with light is also endlessly intriguing. Richter Spielgeräte offer a wide variety of rotating discs, kaleidoscopes, prisms and mirrors, some of which would be appropriate for interior spaces. This might include for example waiting rooms, or interactive museum exhibits. The same is true for a number of the flow products, all of which experiment with the movement of sand or water. The Whirlpool Column, for example, enables users to be the architect of their own whirlpool by simply turning the handle.
Fragrance is also featured in the sensory collection with the Scent Organ, offering a variety of aromas to explore.
Finally, time and space are explored in a number of sensory products, including the Impulse Spheres – an oversized version of the classic 80’s desk toy. Playing with notions of gravity and energy, the impulse spheres demand interaction.
In addition to incorporating some of these elements alongside more physical play experiences, it is also possible to bring them together to form a Sensorium. This is a park dedicated to playing with the senses, as it is suitable for older people and for young children – including everyone in between.