Not long ago, I introduced you to our new Unity Canopy, part of the Unity Collection–re-imagined classic playground pieces designed to be more relevant for how kids play today. Another piece in the Collection is the Unity Teeter Tunnel.
As parents and designers, we knew that kids still loved the old, playground tradition of the teeter totter, but they quickly tired of its repetitive nature: mount, move up and down, then dismount. Although several teeter totters can be grouped together or designed to accommodate more than two children (as in the case of our Quattro Seesaw), the potential of the new Teeter Tunnel was far greater than we had previously realized.
During our play test, it hit us … since kids love being together; the cooperative nature of the teeter totter could be magnified and the design enhanced to be more robust, allowing a gaggle of kids to get on board, cooperating to make it move and work, encouraging social and cooperative play. Everything about the Teeter Tunnel activity centers on balance and cooperation—kids have to communicate with one another to keep it in motion. And imaginative play possibilities abound! Kids can pretend to be rocking in a big ship on the ocean or whatever their minds dream up.
Children can experience the Unity Teeter Tunnel standing, sitting, or even lying down. When it’s in motion, kids work harder to stay balanced, engaging their core muscles. But we also wanted to provide something different—a cozy space that not only would offer a more inclusive nature to the “ride,” but a totally different experience for a child or children wanting to take a break from doing the “work.” Kids can just hang out in the middle of the action and simply enjoy.
One thing we’ve discovered is that Teeter Tunnel’s presence on the playground can’t be ignored. The structure invites kids to discover, explore and play together in ways they haven’t been able to before. The Teeter Tunnel brings kids together. Here. Now.
How do you help bring kids together in play?