Be a Bee
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo is abuzz with its new pollinator-themed playground: Me and the Bee. Designed to spark curiosity and imagination, Me and the Bee is an inclusive playground designed the GameTime's custom play designers. It encompasses 4,900 sq. ft. of space where children learn all about bees as they discover towering flowers, hop along particles of pollen, climb atop honeycomb steps, crawl inside hollow trees and slide down a tree stump dripping with thick golden honey.
Visitors to Me and the Bee "shrink" down to the size of a bee as they step through the honeycomb entrance and discover larger-than-life-sized figures of European honeybees and blue orchard mason bees. The poured-in-place rubber play surfacing includes yellow pollen particles, which children can step across decorative flowers to the bees’ hives.
Adding to the dramatic play experience are two interactive sound projectors; children can turn a rotary crank to hear a group of buzzing bees or push a button to hear a variety of pollinators, including hummingbirds, bats and insects. Honeycomb steppers—platforms for climbing, jumping and resting—are painted to mimic cells filled with pollen and honey. Leaf-shaped signage around the playground tells the story of pollination from the hive to the table. Visiting Me and the Bee playground is a fun, exciting educational experience for the entire family.
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