In the warmth of Playground Loru
‘Five little ducks went out one day, over the hills and far away…’
You can hear cheerful songs from Playground Loru, when toddlers join in to singing songs with the instructor. Nursery rhymes and songs are a part of the playground’s weekly programming. Playground’s clientele has started to stabilize.
Playground Loru, situated in the heart of Helsinki, is the only playground in Central Helsinki. Attenders come from all corners of Helsinki and from elsewhere too. Loru’s instructors are professional and they help families with finding playgrounds and playground functions in their own neighbourhoods.
Around 300 to 400 persons participate in Loru’s supervised music, games, art & crafts and rhyme time sessions every week. In addition to that, almost as many come just to visit, to explore and to play. Children participate in Loru’s activities along with their mums, dads and carers.
The playground’s instructors work closely with the library staff. Loru’s staff members also collaborate with the library staff when organizing bigger events for the whole family. Unlike the other playgrounds in Helsinki, Loru does not organise afternoon activities to schoolchildren, but during holiday time other playgrounds organise trips and day camps to Oodi.
Playground Loru focuses mostly on serving families with small children, especially babies with their parents. The families have found their way to ‘Lorun lämmössä” rhyme time for babies. Loru is the only playground that offers activities for small children during afternoons, and the feedback has been favourable.
The playground interior opened in December 2018 and Loru’s outdoor space jungle gym opened in July 2019. The jungle gym, which is also Finland’s biggest, has seen hundreds of children playing and climbing.
Loru’s weekly schedule consists of for example rhyme times, play times and art & crafts sessions. The focus of the playground is to encounter families and support them with their daily life.
Minna Karhu, playground Loru
Pia Terrihauta, Helsinki Central Library Oodi’s children and youth team
Pictures: Minna Karhu & Pia Terrihauta