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Intrigue and Creativity: Rigamajig Thrills Kids at West Haven Rec Center 

West Haven Recreation Center children create imaginative structures using the new 260-piece Rigamajig play set.

Children's activities at West Haven Recreation Center just got a refresh with the addition of a “Rigamajig.”

What's a Rigamajig? A far cry from the building blocks of the past, the Rigamajig is a play structure with wooden planks, wheels, pulleys, nuts, bolts and rope that allows for creativity and fun, smart play.

Conceived by Cas Holman in collaboration with early learning educators, woodworkers and children, each set has more than 260 pieces and weighs nearly 150 pounds. This imaginative building play set provides learning opportunity for all children ages 3 and up, and the Rigamajig’s variety of pieces teaches players valuable STEM and creative-thinking skills.

“Where was this when I was a kid?!” asks Aaron Browning, Deputy Director of Knoxville’s Parks and Recreation Department. “Kids of all ages are drawn to the Rigamajig for the endless hands-on building opportunities. Whether kids are enjoying free play or being challenged to build something specific, they are learning valuable life lessons such as team-building and problem-solving while smiling and interacting with their friends.”

It looks so fun, even adults want to get involved, Browning says.

West Haven Recreation Center, 3622 Sisk Road, received the Rigamajig through a grant awarded by KaBOOM! and BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation.

Angie Davidson, the City's Recreation Program Coordinator, says she wanted KaBoom! and the BlueCross BlueShield foundation to hear directly from children and recreation leaders about just how much they would love playing with the Rigamajig.

“In applying for these grants, I wanted to incorporate written statements from the center leaders and children from the centers to specify how they would implement these play structures to encourage community outreach, creativity, problem-solving, communication and collaboration in play," Davidson says. "It would have been very easy for me to just write the grant myself, but I wanted a majority of the words to come from the community of people that these grants would benefit.

"We submitted these letters as attachments from several of the children describing why it would be important to them to have these in their community!”

Just as they stated in their letters, the children have embraced the new play structure with enthusiasm.

Rigamajig facilitator Josh Henderson at West Haven Recreation Center reports: “The initial response has been great! The kids really enjoy working on their creations without a true goal in mind; they can build whatever pops into their heads.”

Another Knoxville recreation center also was awarded a KaBOOM! play structure from the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation grant. The Dr. E.V. Davidson Community Center, 3124 Wilson Ave., received an Imagination Playground, a semi-mobile kit of parts suitable for outdoor and indoor use. The Imagination Playground incorporates sand, water and large foam blocks.

“Our children's response to the Imagination Playground has been one of intrigue and immersion," says E.V. Davidson Center Leader Traci Faller. "They couldn't wait to pull the blocks from the carts! The configurations of shoots and structures they've created are fantastic! They become engrossed in bringing their imaginations to life.”

In addition to granting the two play structures, the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation, which partnered with KaBOOM! to select West Haven and E.V. Davidson as grant recipients, has helped the Salvation Army to build a new playground. KaBOOM! also partnered with the BlueCross Blue Shield foundation, The Muse, the City and hundreds of volunteers in building a playground at Chilhowee Park and Exposition Center in 2014.

- Communications Intern Riley Mosby

West Haven Recreation Center children create imaginative structures using the new 260-piece Rigamajig play set. 

Posted by evreeland On 28 July, 2016 at 12:37 PM