March 28, 2012
Contact: Megan Fischer
Director of Communications
(401) 273-5437 ext. 126
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Imagination Playground Opens April 16
at Providence Children's Museum

PROVIDENCE, RI – During April school vacation (April 16-22), Providence Children’s Museum debuts Imagination Playground, an exciting new playspace that inspires open-ended, creative play.

Imagine dozens of excited kids turned loose in a room filled with big 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 form elaborate ramps and tracks and send balls rolling through.  They stack, connect, design, configure and play – the possibilities are endless!

Imagination Playground is a breakthrough playspace concept conceived and designed by renowned architect David Rockwell.  It was developed to encourage child-directed, unstructured play – the kind of free play that experts say is critical to children’s healthy development, and that Providence Children’s 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.

“We firmly believe in the value of open-ended loose parts play,” said Children’s Museum Executive Director Janice O’Donnell. “Imagination Playground epitomizes this kind of play opportunity for kids – and families.”

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

Museum visitors can join a week-long block party in celebration of Imagination Playground from Monday, April 16 to Sunday, April 22, then explore the blocks on weekends through June.  Imagination Playground is free with $8.50 Museum admission; always free for Museum members.

Credit KaBOOM! © 2010 Credit Blandon Belushin © 2010

Providence Children’s Museum – active hands-on fun, inside and out!
The Museum is located at 100 South Street in Providence’s Jewelry District.  September through March, open Tuesday through Sunday and Monday school holidays, 9 AM to 6 PM, and selected Fridays until 8 PM.  April through August, open 7 days. Museum admission is $8.50 per person; always free for Museum members.  Call (401) 273-KIDS or visit