A playful experience: sanitary rooms for kindergarten kids
Though children might be capable of playing with almost everything and everywhere many purported toys and playgrounds are potentially dangerous for them. So, it is hardly surprising that legislators impose the strictest possible safety standards on day-care facilities and creches. This means architects of day-care centers face the challenge of striking a balance between observing these protective measures and catering to children’s desire for a varied and stimulating environment. Another thing that should not be forgotten in this context: Depending on their age the children attending such kindergarten have varying needs that need to be taken into account. “While small children must not be exposed to any dangers, it is important that the older ones don’t get bored, but are both challenged and encouraged,” explains architect Nathalie Dziobek-Bepler, who specializes in planning and realizing child-care facilities with her office baukind. This is why her office’s finished projects often have different areas for the various age groups.
By contrast, bathrooms and toilets do not generally get such individual treatment but are typically used by all the children. However, here again it is vital to consider the respective stages of development of the children involved. The products of the “Bambini” series by Swiss sanitary specialist Geberit not only achieve this but also turn the facilities into space for play and fun. Take the wash stands: They feature a particularly child-friendly design language that appeals to children’s playful nature but also rely on a practical concept. For example, unlike in the standard models the taps are positioned such that they can be easily reached by small children with short arms. The washplaces accommodating three and four children are staggered in size so that children of different heights can find a basin that is the right height for them. Indeed, what makes them really fun to use is the fact that water can be made to cascade from a higher basin level to a lower one. A removable damming plate offers additional playing options while helping to prevent flooding.
The “Bambini” tap is a cartoon-like bird’s head with a peaked baseball cap that just needs to be pressed down to use. And using the three basic colors of red, yellow and blue used for the taps means they are easy for small children to distinguish, which helps them operate the taps correctly.
Similarly, the toilets in the “Bambini” series cater to children’s physiognomy by coming in three different heights. The mid-sized model also has raised footrests designed as “lion’s paws” for children whose legs don’t yet reach the ground. The colored toilet seats of the “Bambini” series feature special “ears”, which can also be used as grips. With these bathroom fittings the sanitary room in kindergartens is sure to become an area child not only enjoy using but that also familiarizes them with the topic of hygiene in a playful way.