Family Featured Fara Illich May 19, 2010

When I was a girl, my elementary school had this amazingly large jungle gym. It had bridges, slides, swings, and many levels that inspired my imagination. I have never seen one to match its greatness.
The Children’s Museum of Phoenix has not only matched but exceeded expectations beyond my wildest dreams with its one-of-a-kind Climber, which opens to the public Friday at 9 a.m.
ClimberblogSchuff Steel donated the 50 tons of steel equal to 10 adult elephants, 4 school busses, 18.1 million pennies, or 160 billion butterflies. Perini Building donated the material and labor, as well as 35 other construction firms in the Valley. Those, together with found objects and a lot of imagination went into constructing this colossal, 3-story climbing structure, built for everyone large and small, adult or child.
Building this magical environment was truly a community effort, designed from the onset to bring a community together, and then enjoy the rich rewards of their work. Designed with safety first, the structure allows the young and young at heart to climb, balance, maneuver and challenge themselves and their imaginations. There is a Toddler Treehouse, Flying Bathtub, Dream Boat, a Roof Top, something called the Fish Walk, and a Recycled Rocket.
Turning old stuff into new stuff, going the not-so-easy route, perching on the roof and watching all that goes by, king of the fort–these are all the behaviors that accompany childhood. The Children’s Museum is dedicated to encouraging developmental learning by engaging the physical with the mental, challenging the child and inspiring growth and understanding of themselves and breaking down their perceived limits. 
This climber will break new ground for children as well as their parents. I can’t wait to be that little girl again, climbing, playing, and making up stories of pirate ships and castles with my nephews.