New Ways to Play at Glenwood

View of children's area of HCLS Glenwood Branch, featuring bright, colorful tall whirligig and three play stations.

By Alastair S.

Recent visitors Glenwood’s children section may have been surprised to be greeted by a beautiful ten-foot beautiful ‘whirligig’ flower. The moving construction, which children can set spinning by turning a cog at the base is one of series of new spectacular, interactive learning installations designed and delivered by the Burgeon Group. Burgeon specializes in creating child-centred works of art that also function as play experiences. This approach be seen not only in the large-scale whimsy of the new whirligig flower, but in the powerful appeal of the three large interactive large ‘seed-pod’ play centers, which also invite children into the space. Young learners can wander between the attractive panels that make up the seed pods, exploring textures, colors, and sound. They can look through kaleidoscopic insect eyes, make frogs jump, recreate nursery rhymes, turn dials to create a story, play with magnets, thread patterns, and otherwise touch, move, and discover a host of other details.

Young boy wearing a white shirt and a mask climbs through a opening in a bright green play station wall.

HCLS takes seriously the idea that play is crucial to children’s learning. These gorgeous inventions installed at Glenwood welcome customers into an area that is already buzzing with activity. The space not only boasts a range of toys carefully selected to encourage learning across the entire curriculum, but also includes our popular Builders’ Barn. The Builders’ Barn is a space for children of all ages, stuffed with easily accessible resources such as paper, card, tissue, recycled materials, fabric, wool, popsicle sticks, glue, tape all waiting to be used for the creation of whatever you’d like to create!

It’s such a pleasure to walk through the Glenwood children’s place and see customers spending a morning enthralled by books they’ve discovered in the collection, deeply engaged in imaginative play with a toy farm or train track or absorbed in sticking the legs back onto whatever amazing creation is emerging from Builder’s Barn. Now we have wonderful constructions enhancing all of this and adding an audible chorus of “wow!’ as customers come in and see it for the first time. Drop by – we’re having some serious fun over here!

A little girl with a explosion of a pony tail peeks at herself in a convex mirror on a play station wall.
Alastair S. is the Children’s Instruction and Research Supervisor at HCLS Glenwood Branch. Originally from England, Alastair has worked variously as an international kindergarten teacher, political report writer, ghost tour guide, and librarian. He has two children, two cats, and a very patient wife.