Children's Role Play structure
During the summer of 2018, Jimagination Creations was approached by Manadon Vale Primary School in Plymouth to see if it would be possible to commission a role play structure for their pre-school kids. They wanted the structure to be two levels with a staircase and it had to fit within a specific area of the classroom - which of course had its own obstacles - namely an area of boxing at the top of one wall that would have to be build around.
But not a problem! The structure was designed using SketchUp so that the school was able to see how it would look before it was actually made and any alterations made. Once agreed upon, the materials were purchased and production began. It was to be made from steamed beech - a lovely hardwood, ever so slightly pinkish in colour and 9mm birch plywood for the panels and 18mm birch plywood for the flooring, all oiled with a child friendly, natural, yet hardwearing oil.
The whole project had to made to be flat-pack so that it could fit into the Jimi-van and transported to the school before being assembled on site. So the joints were birdsmouth tenons then screwed for extra strength and stability.
The project came out so well. This was actually my first staircase!
It had solid panels on all sides except the front where railings were used for maximum visibility. All gaps between the railings and stairs were less than 99mm to confirm to regulations. I added a blackboard sign to the front so that it could be named for whatever it was going to be (a pirate ship, a castle, a den etc) and with the left over materials I fashioned a bit of seating with storage inside.
The headteacher, Sarah Ryder was very happy with it and wrote me the following testimonial:-
"We employed the services of Jim at Jimagination Creations to design and create a bespoke 2-storey Role Play structure for our Foundation Stage children. Throughout the project, Jim has been utterly professional, passionate about the impact on the children and the resulting structure has become a focal aspect to our Foundation Stage provision.
In the design phase, Jim was really flexible at listening to our requests and accommodating these within a very restricted area. He came up with his own suggestions, whilst also listening to the views of staff. He was also able to adapt and rejig designs when issues were found with the current environment.
Whilst creating the Role Play structure, Jim kept myself and the Foundation Stage team fully informed with his progress, providing us with up-to-the-minute photos which was hugely exciting. This continued when he and his team were installing the structure, when he continued to communicate with the team.
Jim has continually kept the children at the heart of the project and has incorporated small additions and little aside projects, purely for the children's enjoyment.
We cannot thank Jim enough for his time, effort and passion for this project and would recommend him to any school which wanted to have bespoke design created for their children."
If you want something similar for your school then contact Jim via email.