architecture · children · creativity · design · education · play

Modular play and building sets for all ages

I loved playing with Legos and building blocks as a kid (and actually still do); all the possibilities of what to build, and the ability to tear it all down and start over. Well here are two different ideas from Inhabitat about using that same concept of moveable, removable, and piece-meal design (in a good way):

First, a build-your-own park or patio area:

A green initiative called Softwalks has come up with a way to use existing scaffolding as support stations for fun and lively modular public spaces using their awesome little DIY kits that contain easy-to-build pieces such as a chair, a counter, and a green trellis. The components latch onto the metal beams to create simple impromptu hang-outs and rest stops for busy city dwellers, making the possibilities for sidewalk beautification endless.

The project’s greatest aspect is that anyone can get involved. The kit pieces are modular and lightweight, making them easy to install, take down, and reuse in new areas. The kits also create a public art activity, involving the community to brighten up their construction-heavy areas.
Walrus Toys’s Chimeras is a new line of plush toys that allows your little creative genius to build his [or her] own wacky stuffed animal critters with different interchangeable snap-in ears, arms, legs and wings each day as the mood strikes.
What if a bat really wants to have giant elephant ears to match its wings? You’ll end up with a Batephant! What if a bunny wanted to swing on tree branches, but needed the monkey’s long arms? You’ll have a Bunkey.
These are really adorable, and definitely a step up from Mr. Potato Head. I love how kids’ toys are moving away from the electronic “can only do one thing and LOUDLY” mentality and moving back to more creative play. Robotics toys and robotic dance competitions seemed to be a huge thing a couple of years ago, which is also very modular.
What other creative, modular ideas have you seen pop up lately, either as urban architecture, toys, or other arenas? Leave a note about it in the comments below. If we’re lucky, we’ll be able to make this a new series in the blog!

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