As part of our work on Thinktank’s outdoor Science Garden, we were asked to develop a separate space nearby for the under sevens audience. Space constraints necessarily placed this outside the main fenced area, and since the Eastside City Park district in which it sits is also home to thousands of students, we had to plan exhibits capable of withstanding the attentions of older fun-seekers.

Working with landscape architects Gillespies, we created a twin-lobed space with a robust patterned play surface floor, and science-inspired exhibits exploring two key science themes, ‘sound and light’, and ‘touch and move’. We mixed off-the-shelf play items with a small number of bespoke pieces; a rainbow spectrum gives tots a multicoloured view of the world, and a multi-surfaced mound allows experimentation with friction in a twist on the classic slide. Graphics by Pat O'Leary add a fun element, putting faces on your shadow and animal heads and bodies on the legs of those ducked inside the kaleidoscope. A tactile feely wall by Cantoo completes the picture.