parents: brienne's story

Brienne is a mother of one son, Nathaniel.

“This kind of play reminds me a lot of the kind of play I did as a child, where you created your own things. You didn’t work from a pre-made kit. You weren’t creating another adult’s concept. You were really using your own imagination to create something new that’s your very own.”

“One of the things about this that is different from a traditional playground is the way that it’s engaging and that it draws the kids in. Because of the way that they can manipulate the tools rather than climb on top of them, the child becomes part of the materials. Instead of pretending that a piece of fixed equipment is their clubhouse, they can actually make their own, which is pretty amazing.”

imagination, larger than life

“Children are always smaller than everything. They’re little. So when they can create something that’s big, it makes them feel a part of that grown up world that they’re always being excluded from and it enables them to make their stories come to life in a larger than life kind of a way. It gives them a great deal of control, which they don’t always get. That’s really important to them. You know, Nathaniel will say to me I want to do everything the grownups do. I want to do it exactly the way the grownups do it. So with the Imagination Playground blocks, he gets to build a house the way the grownups do it with grownup size blocks that match him.

“One of the things that [my son] likes to do with these blocks is build life-size versions of models. Today, he built a giant ship. He called me over to show me where the steam engine was and where all the rudders were and where all the different aspects of the ship were.

collaboration

“Another aspect of the blocks is how they draw the kids together. It gets them to cooperate and collaborate. It teaches them to work and play together, whether they know each other or not.

“One really kind of wonderful moment for my son was he had built something and he was really excited about it. Then, other kids came over and started walking on it. He actually got upset and said, ‘Mommy, mommy, they’re walking on my thing,’ and he was very protective of it. So I said, ‘But, honey, you built something that six other kids want to use. Aren’t you proud of that?’ And he sort of stopped and thought wow, that’s amazing. He was really impressed with having been able to build something that other kids came over and wanted to utilize in the form that it was built. They weren’t taking it apart. They were using his structure, which is a very exciting and empowering thing for a small child. He was, I think, only 4 at the time.”

watch our parents video

Real parents react to watching their kids play with Imagination Playground for the first time.