Students put on a playground of the senses

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“Multisensory Playground: A Journey Through the Senses” featured six sections that all focused on how one experiences the senses. There was a section dedicated to “Alice in Wonderland” and another section that featured a Christmas dinner. One section symbolized the Williamson Cottage in 1863, and another section gave students the experience of being backstage at a concert. The final two sections included a Hawaiian-themed experience, which included a tiki bar and a beach, and an experience made to symbolize Christmas Eve. Prior to their specific event, the students who ran each individual section had the option to leave out any sense in order to amplify the others.

The first section was the Christmas dinner, which showed how dinner tables are set up in restaurants. This section of the event showed numerous senses including sight and touch. At each seat, the forks were on the left of the plate, with the knife and spoon on the right side along with their respective glasses. There were also napkins placed directly in front of the plate. Junior experience design major AJay Lawton was the creator of this experience.

“I brought all of the dishes, besides the plates,” he said. “The plates belong to the president of UIndy.”

The next section was the Christmas Eve experience. This event included eating Christmas cookies, creating ornaments, writing a letter to a veteran to give thanks, guessing the scent of the candles and a fireplace. The traditional Christmas items were present in the event as well, including a Christmas tree with presents under it, a mailbox for thank-you letters and a Christmas blanket sitting on the rocking chair. Junior communication major Michaela Ward, the creator of this experience, said it was her idea to include writing thank-you letters to veterans.

“Christmas isn’t about giving material items, it’s about giving back and lifting somebody’s spirits for the holidays,” Ward said.

Bahama Mammas were offered at the tiki bar, which included an array of beach items such as two beach chairs, beach balls, shovels and leis. The Bahama Mammas were served in a coconut with an umbrella and a straw. The creator of this event added two large walls painted to look like the sky. She wore a lei and had an umbrella in her hair. Students were invited to lie back in the beach chair and listen to the waves on a CD.

The “Alice in Wonderland” section included giant cards and croquet. A student was dressed up as Alice while she enjoyed tea time with cookies. She included a tea party much like the one shown in the movie, and it featured the door mouse sleeping in the teapot. Students could play a few rounds of croquet using flamingo sticks to whack the hedgehog balls through the giant cards. The cards were placed behind the table, along with tissue on the walls, floors and table.

The students who created their events brought specific, key items for their experience. The student who made the Williamson Cottage included in her experience rose ink with the smell of fresh roses, lye soap and unprocessed wool. The student who created the backstage experience made VIP passes out of paper and used strings for the lanyard. She also placed posters on the wall and had a drum and a keyboard for students to play.

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