SickKids is an internationally renowned tertiary paediatric facility, and since 1974 the Women’s Auxiliary (WAV) has offered a free childcare service through the SickKids WAV PlayPark. From toddlers to adolescents, siblings of SickKids patients can enjoy the diversions at the PlayPark and build positive memories of hospital visits.
One of the greatest strengths of children is their vivid imagination. The design of the WAV space supports creativity and discovery by providing spaces that promote relaxation, creativity, exploration, and make believe. Inspired by the idea of a park, the space is subdivided into landscape features including a lake, hill, cave, meadow, forest, and canyon. A central desk overlooks all the spaces, with the design maximizing openness, interconnectivity, and—most importantly—safety.
With such a diverse mix of activities and very limited space, creative storage was necessary. Books, toys, art supplies, costumes, kids’ personal belongings, ride-on toys, and typical administrative/staff items are hidden within invisible storage throughout. The resulting space is open, bright, and uplifting—inviting children to freely engage, create, and imagine. Custom art and graphics, by a local artist and design team member, enliven the space and make it truly unique to the SickKids experience.
The new PlayPark reflects the joy of childhood and exemplifies the significant contribution the Women’s Auxiliary makes to improve the lives of families facing childhood illnesses.