By Joyce Thomspon
William Clark is now accompanied by a crew of children at UVA Children’s Battle Building to experience and explore the early days of Charlottesville by river and land, learning about plants and animal life. Research has shown that pediatric spaces organized around the identity of the child helps break down their medical experiences and reduces their stress. With this in mind, the Explorer Playroom offers UVA Medical Center the opportunity to provide unique spaces and play areas for patients and their families within a careful balance of physical and technological elements.
A serene landscape comes to life with various plant and animal life through interactive areas which include animated video projection, naturalized soundscapes and smart ambient lighting. This digital platform features an experience-driven pairing of technology with specialized programs to promote physical, cognitive, learning, visual and hearing experiences that will enrich play for children.
The room includes a number of different activity centers, each designed to engage and stimulate young patients. Children can explore a river while propelled by their own rowing, or they can interact with a calm and relaxing landscape in the different interactive areas. They can also engage with a young William Clark as he teaches about personal safety before he embarks on a new expedition. With the Birdsong Reading Nook, children may simply relax and enjoy a good story, or they can share their wishes and dreams with the comforting Wishing Tree.
There are considerable opportunities that will offer a natural progression for growth and development of the Explorer Playroom. Each season will bring about a corresponding change in the design which will keep the environment fresh and appealing to children. Additionally there is the future goal of developing and utilizing this play space for other pediatric therapies and programs.
Karin Skeen is excited for the opening of the playroom, as well. Karen explained, “The Explorer room was designed to meet the needs of therapy patients as well as children visiting for other types of care. It is very exciting to be able to offer a fun and innovative approach to care in the ambulatory setting. This is a great addition to the Battle Building and we’re thrilled to see how patients and their families enjoy the new space.”
To celebrate the opening of the Explorer Playroom, there was an official ribbon cutting ceremony and open house on Wednesday October 2. The Explorer Playroom is located on the 4th floor of the Battle Building, room 4150.
Filed Under: Features