Bear loves Techniquest* so imagine how pleased we were to be invited to experience part of Techniquest’s 30th anniversary celebrations: Imagination Playground.
The exhibition is a mobile block-based play system designed to encourage child-directed, unstructured free play. Created by award-winning architect David Rockwell, Imagination Playground is the newest addition to the upper east wing of the centre. We just couldn't wait to try it out.
Imagination Playground At Techniquest - A Toddler Explores
The problem with exhibitions upstairs and at the far end of the centre is directing an excited two year old past all the other fantastic exhibits! We eventually arrived and Bear was alone. Remembering that the design is for child-directed unstructured free play Grandad and I stood back and just let Bear play. He amazed us. He put things into things, constructed towers that reached way above his head, tried to slide down one block and had fun knocking down a wall of blocks.
Soon we were surrounded by larger school children, they too were allowed to do whatever their imagination directed. They played rough and noisy but were all careful around Bear and built houses and walls.
They made bar bells and hammers and used these as weapons against each other! It was complete mayhem but the laughter and fun was loudest of all. They loved it.
Bear played here for ages and loved it, all the other exhibitions are open too so we left the Imagination Playground and headed to some of our favourites. A visit wouldn't be complete without a play on the massive keyboard or getting soaked in the water area (don't forget to take a change of clothes for toddlers)
We spent ages in the low light exhibition. Full of mist and screaming school children. This was great fun especially the Shadow Box. A wall is light sensitive, everyone poses, then there is a flash of light and the shadows are frozen in time, just for a few seconds. Repeat.
One exhibition that was attractive to all the children was the Mist In The Valley. Mist rises from a hole that has a light at the bottom and flows slowly down a slope, the bigger children found putting their heads in the hole and being engulfed in mist quite thrilling. Bear was happy to put his hands in.
|Every visit must end playing with the mechanical Welsh Dragon|
To read more check out our previous review Techniquest, Cardiff - A Toddler Explores