If you're just tuning in, we spent much of our last post discussing our Water Journey™ solutions while teasing some of our new products around the corner. In a nutshell, we explored how our design team endeavored to create a water play area that would be as malleable and shape-shifting as Mother Nature herself.
The result of these efforts is Water Journey™: four dynamic designs (with three more to come!) that invite children to manipulate their surroundings through different forms of play. These ground-level experiences stimulate cognitive, emotional and social learning as well as motor skills and a slew of other faculties.
In this post, we'll segue from our design philosophy to the key features that make Water Journey™ a standout in any water park, on any splash pad and even on its own. Also, if you scroll to the bottom of this article, you'll find a link directing you to a colorful catalog that also showcases these many interactive water features. It's a helpful visual guide that may inspire your next project!
Water Journey™ begins when children release an initial flood of water from a push valve. Where the adventure goes from there is up to them. Through different interactive elements, they control how it cascades, ripples, mists and sprays.
Each of the four product designs is engineered around a different theme that encourages unique states of play. Labyrinth serves as an introduction to how water moves; Jet Dance takes cause-and-effect a step further by reacting to the little ones' body movements; Race promotes competition, collaboration and decision making; while Tide Pool is a soothing vista that helps them slow down for a moment and appreciate water's meditative power.
Let's take a closer look at each one...
Labyrinth mimics those tranquil streams we'd run alongside barefoot when we were children. The highly tactile design features five types of waterbeds that affect the flow and speed of the water. Accessories such as gates and watermills reshape the life-like current as children float objects downstream.
On a cognitive level, the Labyrinth experience sharpens decision-making skills by letting the little ones determine the best route. Different streaming effects promote abstract play and imaginative thinking. On the sensory end of the spectrum, its many moving parts and bright colors offer lots of visual stimuli.
Kids direct the current through different channels that activate different water effects. Depending on where the water flows, it will spray, mist and create water arches. Participants can even control spray intensity by blocking different jets with their feet.
Jet Dance stimulates reflexes and movement while introducing children to the malleability of Mother Nature. Featuring unique visual cues, the design promotes self-expression and encourages physical play.
Consisting of two side-by-side tracks, Race brings out a child's competitive spirit as he or she controls a floating object from the starting pool to the final drain. En route, four foot pumps accelerate flow while a drawbridge is lowered to direct the water and let floating objects pass.
With Race, each track's final stretch is different, prompting the little ones to make strategic decisions. The design also promotes physical play. It encourages children to scurry alongside their objects, attempting to manipulate the drawbridge and foot pumps on time.
At the Tide Pool, children can kick back and observe a rising tide that fills every crevasse before subsiding with a soothing rhythm. The design invites children to play stepping stones or sit on rocks of various sizes and shapes while water collects into the shallow pool.
The tide Pool experience helps enhance self-calming and emotional regulation skills through its repetitive sights and sounds. At the same time, it also encourages children to practice balance and motor skills by interacting with its stepping stones.
More and more, municipalities, private water parks and resorts are looking for innovative ways to evoke a return to nature. With so many interactive elements to explore, Water Journey™ nurtures a child's inquisitive instincts in the same way the natural world does.
Of course, how it all comes together is up to you. These aren't simply splash pad accessories. Sure, they can be integrated into splash pads but Water Journey™ can also stand alone as unique formations. The designs can even be combined with one another to create integrated vistas. In a way, Water Journey™ encourages the same sort of play from waterpark designers as it does with children. It's a flexible design that calls to our creative instincts.
To provide you with a more in-depth understanding of its many unique applications, we're chatting with landscape architect Scott Stefanc for our next post. It'll be up shortly so stay tuned!
Want to learn more about Water Journey™? We've put together a new catalog that highlights its many features and explores its unique design philosophy. Gain better insight into this nature-inspired solution by clicking the banner below!