Providing a stimulating environment where children can learn as well as play, the Children’s Park at Expo Milano 2015 includes a number of multi-sensorial experiences, along with a section set aside for relaxing, and a picnic area.
Curated by Sabina Cantarelli and developed in cooperation with Reggio Children, the International Center for the Defense and Promotion of the Rights and Potentials of All Children (il Centro Internazionale per la difesa e la promozione dei diritti e delle potenzialità dei bambini e delle bambine), Expo’s Children’s Park is managed by the Milan municipality, in collaboration with the Cooperativa D.O.C., whose youth-workers will be on hand to help run the Park’s program of activities
Perfumed bells, water galore, and our inter-connectedness with the planet
The Children’s Park offers brightly-colored passages and provides myriad stimuli, including the multi-sensorial area, that takes about 50 minutes to navigate. Here you can take younger folk to visit the seven areas of the park, filled with fun, attention-grabbing names, the first of these contains four giant, fragrance-filled bells, each linked to a greenhouse filled with aromatic plants.
The children will be asked to identify the fragrances and to guess the plant to which they correspond. They then move on to the next attraction, where they will learn about how important water is to the planet. After this is the section dubbed Micro and Macro. Here, by comparing their own weight to that of many other beings, children will learn more about how interconnected we, as human beings, are to the rest of the world.
Bicycles, interactive trees, and messages to the rest of the world complete this voyage of exploration
Then it’s time for a short break in the shady play area, where New Holland Agriculture has provided a number of blue toy tractors. Toilet facilities, obviously child-size, are also available.
The next activity is an interactive installation where the children see themselves grow alongside the growth of the trees on the screen, and where they see, metaphorically speaking, why we all need to maintain our equilibrium within our environment.
More fun awaits at the next attraction where music is generated via pedal-power applied to a number of stationary bicycles. Continuing, we get to the section where the youngsters can write a message to the world, or to their loved ones, and this is placed inside a transparent plastic sphere that is bounced on a colored pool of water.
The journey ends at the Giant Vegetable Garden, where we see everyday greens, except in giant scale! Here, the children can scramble over plants that “grow” horizontally, with a special shock-absorbing flooring provided to make the exercise super-safe.