Creative play involving the elements – the water playground in Scheveningen
Dunes, beach and the sea form the backdrop to a very special playground in Scheveningen, a suburb of The Hague. Directly on the coast, in the "Scheveningse Bosjes", der playground manufacturer Kaiser & Kühne, in cooperation with the Dutch company BOAS, which was in charge of the planning, built an imaginative water playground that blends in almost seamlessly with the extensive coastline of the Scheveningen seaside resort. The area around The Hague is famous for its long beaches. It was therefore only logical to combine the playground near the beach with the element of water: water and sand set the theme for the newly built playground, where hundreds of children play every day. With the sea nearby, the constant stream of visitors and vacationers never ends, but the young residents of Scheveningen also love the playground, which provides plenty of variety and cooling on hot summer days.
Well-known, even beyond regional borders
The magnificent backdrop of dunes and miles of flat sandy beaches attracts especially families with children, as this part of the North Sea is shallow, which makes it ideal for splashing around and swimming. The long seafront promenade of Scheveningen, the pier with its lighthouse and, of course, the numerous bathing spots also make this area a paradise for water sports enthusiasts: there are perfect conditions for windsurfers and kitesurfers all year round. So, it is little wonder that the seaside resort is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the Netherlands: it is just as popular as an excursion or holiday destination as it is as a child-friendly place to live, especially for families who do business in The Hague.
Several nearby schools and day-care centres also ensure that the water playground never runs out of little visitors. Especially after school or during breaks, entire school classes often come here to explore the wide range of playground equipment and romp around as they please. The creative space is also frequently used for children's birthday parties or class outings. Thanks to its prominent location directly by the sea and, of course, its water features, the playground is well-known even beyond its regional borders: even from downtown The Hague and from cities even farther away, parents and their children come all the way just to spend a long afternoon playing with the element of water in this special place. Thus, on a sunny weekend, there are easily more than 200 children visiting the Scheveningen water playground every day. Nevertheless, the area never seems overcrowded, precisely thanks to its spaciousness: numerous slides, climbing frames, swings, diggers and seesaws allow children of all ages to play, romp, climb and, of course, build huge castles in the wet sand to their heart's content.
By the way: The Hague has adopted the principle of the “rotating playground”, meaning that playground equipment is regularly dismantled and reassembled in other places, so that all neighbourhoods equally come to benefit from a variety of playground equipment. However, this principle does not apply to the water playground in Scheveningen: its equipment is to remain exactly where it is, because this particular play set was deliberately chosen for this location to reflect the theme of water.
A playground that sparks children’s imagination
The centrepiece of the Scheveningen water playground is a large play fort made of high-quality stainless steel, which is ideal for romping and balancing with its slides and versatile climbing elements. What makes it special: numerous watercourses, channels, pools, pumps and diggers are directly incorporated into this climbing facility and are deliberately designed to be particularly easy and intuitive to use. Various easy-to-use pumps and equipment allow children of all ages to explore the water playground for themselves. In this way, both young and older children have fun using the playground equipment and can pump the clear groundwater from its depths to the surface with minimal effort and play with it.
The Scheveningen water playground also caters to children's urge to be physically active: several attractive pieces of playground equipment such as seesaws, slides and swings encourage them to try them out and explore. A special highlight is the contact swing, which enables several children to sit in a circle so that their feet can touch in the middle. This makes it possible for a whole group of children to play on the swing at the same time.
Thanks to the huge sand area, children can safely play and have fun on the various climbing equipment, and parents can let their little ones climb and run around the entire area without having to worry.
Fresh groundwater is pumped to the surface from a depth of 15 metres by a powerful pump and used for the playground equipment in the water playground. While it is not drinking water, the quality of this groundwater is nevertheless outstanding due to the unique location of the playground in the middle of the dunes: crisp, pure and crystal clear, it flows out of the playground equipment, which is made of stainless steel. In general, all the materials Kaiser & Kühne used for the water playground are designed to be durable and sturdy: high-grade stainless steel and laminated Robinia wood are ideal materials for playgrounds because they are particularly low-maintenance and stable. This way, the equipment lasts a lifetime.
Water, sand and the sea – where children can give free rein to their creativity
The area around the Scheveningen seaside resort is characterized by the sea and the sandy dune landscape. Located so close to the coast, water and sand are abundant at the water playground, so it is no wonder that the playground equipment and pumps never fail to excite the little visitors. After all, kids love playing with the elements.
When designing the playground, special attention was paid to ensuring that children of all ages can use it. For example, pools and channels were designed to be particularly low so that toddlers can splash around comfortably and experience the feel and dynamics of the element of water. Older children, on the other hand, love to climb around on the sturdy playground equipment and let the water run through spiral pumps, wide pools, channels and tubes. The easy-to-use elements allow the children to dam up the water and let it flow off again, pump it up and let it pour down, or transport it from one level to the other through stair-shaped watercourses. Thus, the water splashes and tinkles over the stainless steel tubs and sluices - sometimes dripping gently, sometimes gushing powerfully from the tubes and channels into the soft sand.
The feel of fine sand and cool water in particular stimulates children's senses and gives rise to a wealth of creative play ideas. In this way, children learn through play how dynamic and versatile the element of water is, how it can flow quickly and slowly, how it can be pumped, dammed up and sprayed around in all directions. In combination with the fine dune sand, the Scheveningen water playground quickly turns into a gigantic adventure playground, where the little architects regularly build huge sandcastles, massive dams and extensive waterways.
The interplay of the elements and playing with water and sand is extremely attractive for children and encourages them to engage in creative and sensory play. The children often spend several hours at a time playing with the water playground equipment. It is the magic of the elements that makes them want to explore and try things out. As a result, the kids at the Scheveningen water playground quite literally become immersed in their imaginative play and enter a creative flow state that lasts for a long time.
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