Client: Guildford Spectrum Leisure Centre , Guildford
Guildford Spectrum Leisure Centre wanted to transform their toddler and children’s pool into an exciting interactive splash pool. This would introduce toddlers and the under 6s to a water play and learning experience that they can enjoy with their parents.
Our team took on the project that included an array of water play features to encourage play and water confidence in toddlers and young children. This included low level and high-level water elements, offering something for children with different confidence levels in and around water.
The project included an interactive arch with a waterball and a mast that can hold up to 4 interactive arms, providing endless low-level fun for those new to water play. Younger children can also develop water confidence by tipping water from filled buckets into the pool, turning handwheels to control water flow, and being gently sprayed by water streamers and water jets.
There is a second water arch featuring a range of high-level surprise and anticipatory fun including tipping buckets, water wheels and shark showers which will soak the children playing beneath them. Slightly older children will find these features perfect for taking water confidence to higher levels.
A mini splash pad is a big hit with all ages and features 3 in-ground jets that soak children as they manipulate the water flow. There are also a series of mirrored portholes where children can watch their reflection and a snake squirt with a wiggly body that gently sprays water into the pool whilst forming a barrier between the splash pad and the pool.
An old whale feature was removed from a plinth within the pool and replaced with a selection of large and small, bright, vibrant fish squirts that are visually appealing to children of all ages. We also rejuvenated a raised finger spray planter by replacing existing rocks with 2 shark squirts which fill several cascading channels before cascading the water back into the pool.
Children love sliding down the mini flume and splashing into the plunge pool. For toddlers and children who are less water confident, a series of interactive play panels provide a barrier between the plunge pool and poolside to help encourage fun whilst developing their learning. These panels feature mirrors and bubbles and encourage tactile, visual, and auditory stimulation in toddlers and young children.
Lighthouse feature & slide:
The centrepiece of the development is a colourful GRP lighthouse that features an acrylic window and an LED beacon for added visual impact. The light turns on when the wave machine is in operation. This lighthouse replaced an old treehouse feature and is clad in artificial rocks for realistic aquatic theming. To top it all off, tiny tots will enjoy sliding down a toddler slide that snakes around the lighthouse and ends in the pool.
The play feature project was one of several undertaken at Guildford Spectrum in recent years and has been designed to facilitate future expansion when required.
The installation is mindful of other leisure activities around the development, being careful not to disrupt other activities taking place.
The wet play installation was completed just before Christmas 2014, and from January to July 2015, visitor numbers increased by 102 per cent compared to the same period in 2014. Toddler Wet Play session attendance increased by 121 per cent in the first half of 2015, with around 12,000 children participating in total.