Little Farmers at Craigie’s Farm in Scotland is an adventure farm park that celebrates rural life and has over 20,000 sq ft of indoor and outdoor play, from towers to water play.
The indoor play offer at Craigie’s links closely to the heritage of the farm with subtle theming, whilst maintaining maximum play value for the children. The client, John Sinclair, wanted play to take centre stage at the farm park.
A large platform combination is at the forefront of the design, with various entrances and exits for children to enjoy. The combination is made up of four different sized and shaped platforms, from a 1m platform to a large 2m hexagonal platform. To move and play between the platforms there are various bridges including a rope bridge and a 4m-long wobbly bridge that, at 2m high, offers a vantage point for children across the play area. There are multiple playable ways for children to access and exit the combination, including a climbing net, climbing wall, ladders and two different height slides to challenge children of all ages. A conveyor track runs underneath the platforms and bridges using tracks and container wagons to allow children to move loose fruit objects – creating role play opportunities linking to the heritage of the farm.
Numerous sensory items are used in the indoor play area including a distorting mirror and a drawing board to promote the use of the senses through play and learning. Two bespoke fruit and veg Spinners reflect the farm’s values and link to the Play Wall which, at over 8m long, offers children a chance to transport and play with loose play items. At Craigie’s the loose play items are made up of various pretend fruit and vegetables in crates. Children can transport the fruit from floor level up the ladder to the second level and hoists, wheels, pipes and chutes allow them to send the fruit back to their friends on the lower level. A Platform House is situated across from the play wall and also allows children to move the fruit through chutes and a hoist. The play wall and platform house also offer many opportunities for hiding, climbing and sliding through net, slide and fireman’s pole attachments. A wobble dish, two-storey play house and tractor and trailer make up the last elements in the indoor area and offer imaginative play for younger children.
Outdoor play area
Craigie’s has also widened its play offer further in the outdoor play area. Here, there is a bespoke water play configuration of water trays and troughs, where children can play with water that they generate from the Playground Pump. Whilst being extremely enjoyable for all ages, water play also offers extensive play value for children as it promotes the development of their creativity and imagination, as well as teaching children about the forces of water, how it flows and how to stop it. They learn hand-eye co-ordination as well as using their senses to touch, see, hear and even smell the water.
The roofs of the large play structures are dressed with architectural elements that reflect the rural landscape. This enhances the aesthetic of the play barn and also ties the play with the surrounding landscape and farm buildings.
A children’s illustrator was also commissioned by Timberplay Scotland to create a bespoke mural which runs the full length of the play barn.