Case Study: Teaching kids as they play

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Client: Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (MNCPPC), Upper Marlboro, Md.

Designers: Brenda Iraola, landscape architect supervisor; Chris Colvin, landscape architect; and Rene Albacete, landscape architect

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Goal: Create a storybook playground design for Watkins Regional Park based on the original Oz storybook to encourage learning through play

Solution: Kids and families can experience Auntie Em and Uncle Henry’s Kansas farm, Dorothy’s house, Munchkin Land, the poppy field, the Emerald City and Dorothy’s attempt to get home via hot air balloon. Even more, Dorothy’s ruby slippers were adapted to be playground slides! The design also includes a unique experience for the children to become the characters of the storybook. Brenda and her team used play panels containing graphics of the drawn storybook characters—Dorothy and Toto, the Cowardly Lion, Tin Woodsman and the Scarecrow—with cut-outs for children’s faces to allow them to become a part of the story.

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Read more about how the Wizard of Oz-themed playground at Watkins Regional Park has become the main attraction for visitors all over Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

You can do custom.

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Get inspiration for your next playground project with our 2016 PLAY Book! In the nearly 50-page book, you’ll see real-life projects from around the world. From a Wizard of Oz-themed play space to a playground that mimics the map of the world, nature-inspired playstructures and uniquely designed playgrounds set in one-of-a-kind environments, you’ll be inspired to create a playground design that fits your community.

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Custom can do anything you want it to. When you pair up with our designers, artists, sculptors and engineers, you’ll discover how custom can take you from apples to oranges, grand overtures to singular accents, stupendous statements to subtle surprises. You can do custom.

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Browse the 2016 PLAY Book or request a copy be mailed to you to learn how we’ll collaborate with you to create signature gathering spaces that your entire community will enjoy.