Early water lessons for little 'sea pirates'

On a hot summer day, there is nothing more exciting for a child day than to play with water and sand, while splashing and spattering each other! It is guaranteed fun! And that is exactly what was being realized for the children at the ‘Sea pirates’ nursery in Kreuzau-Üdingen, near the Pulp & Performance Chemicals operations in Düren. With support from the Community Program a water playground was constructed, not only for playing purposes but mostly for learning in a playful manner that water is not always simply coming from a tap.

The realization of this ambitious project was made possible through collaboration and contributions from several local companies. The concept was designed by an architect from Palazzopresto Architects, the stainless steel equipment as well as the soil and asphalt work were provided and placed by regular suppliers but the manual hard work was done by our volunteering colleagues. A team of five, mostly female employees, impressed everybody involved in the project by preparing the props for the water playground. These serve as holders and had to be made to measure by sawing and abrading them from a screen printing plate. Also a flowerbed was prepared by digging out the earth and planting butterfly bushes and perennials. The finishing touch was made by placing stones around the flower bed.

Our volunteering colleagues were quite pleased with what they had achieved through their hard work.

As initiator Michaela Koch said: “we made a good team and we had a lot of fun while realizing the children’s wish. Thanks to the support of the Community Program we can give this wonderful and sustainable playground to the nursery.

The element water is an experience for the senses. You cannot grab or mould it. It flows through your fingers. Connecting with sand, however, it works as an adhesive and can be given a shape. Which materials can float and which ones sink? The learning aspect of this water playground was a priority for us. The children learn that there is a limit to the availability of water and also that it takes a lot of effort to pump it from the soil.”

And what were the reactions of the children? Long before the official opening of the brand new, unique, water playground was to take place, the little ‘sea pirates’ were anxiously looking forward to this day. One cannot imagine what their anticipation was, but when seeing and using the new water installation you could clearly see and feel their enthusiasm. The best ‘thank you’ the volunteering team could have wished for!