Imagination Playground

Inspiring children's free play with loose parts


Imagine dozens of excited kids turned loose in a room filled with giant blue foam blocks of all shapes and sizes. Using oversized cogs, wheels, spools and tubes, they create whimsical sculptures, construct castles and forts, and design vibrant vehicles that move. Joining curvy blocks with grooves, they create elaborate ramps and tracks and send balls rolling through. They stack, connect, design, configure and play – the possibilities are endless!

Credit KaBOOM! © 2010 Credit Blandon Belushin © 2010

Imagination Playground is a breakthrough playspace concept developed by renowned architect David Rockwell to inspire unstructured, child-directed play – the kind of free play that experts say is critical to children's healthy development, and that the Museum advocates for and promotes in its interactive play and learning environments.

With a focus on "loose parts" – an assortment of open-ended, movable objects – Imagination Playground stimulates kids' creativity and inspires them to invent their own ways to play. Children can shape their environment, move props around, work together to create imaginative structures, and make up their own stories, rules and games. Additional loose parts like fabric, balls and wooden figures enhance the play

Educators and child development experts have long recognized that block play builds serious skills – hand-eye coordination and fine motor development, spatial awareness, foundational math and science thinking. What's unique about Imagination Playground is how naturally it invites collaboration. The big foam pieces encourage kids and families to work together to construct elaborate structures, creating an active, social play experience.

Check the calendar for days and times that Imagination Playground is offered.