Dig It - Torrance, California - USA
Our partners in play at Dig It: Play to Learn are located in our home country, the USA! This construction-themed play center in Torrance, California features one of our custom Block Walls. We got to hear from Crystal McGinnis, the center’s General Manager, about this engaging play space that inspires STEM-learning through building opportunities.
The owners of Dig It had a dream to one day own and operate their own themed experience, and, after a lot of hard work and commitment, their dream was realized. Dig It opened its doors on September 1, 2022, and continues to lead the industry in play-based learning, providing their community with family entertainment experiences.
When Crystal stepped into her role, the first product she presented as a solution for engaging play was Imagination Playground’s Big Blue Blocks, and the team fell in love with the idea! With her extensive background in early education, Crystal knew that open-ended play materials that encourage all age groups to join in would be key to getting families to return again and again. Dig It worked with the Imagination Playground design and engineering team to create their customized Block Wall and all three sizes of Blue Blocks in their inaugural year, and quickly went on to add the Large Loose-Part Bones Set for all the dino-lovers.
This indoor play space is on a mission to inspire ALL children to play and learn within the world around them. Along this journey, they have even made it on the big screen! In Blippi’s Big Dino Adventure, Blippi and his pal, Meekah, go on an voyage to find missing dinosaur eggs. During their quest, they visit Dig It and test out their Loose-Part Bones Set and other play materials.
Read on to hear more from our discussion with Crystal and to learn more about Dig It: Play to Learn
What are some examples of ways you see the Blue Blocks being used?
The Blue Blocks are very versatile. Our BIG Blue Blocks are the perfect blocks to build houses, castles, forts, and towers, which complements the construction theme. We have seen parents allow infants to crawl amongst them for soft play and we have been amused at the times when there are no children in the area and adults are just playing.
We keep our Medium Blue Blocks in a smaller toddler area so the littlest builders can experience Blue Blocks as well.
Our Small Blue Blocks are used for our classes and pop-up play experiences. They are the perfect for STEM activities and experiments, like “Sink & Float” (they float), building architectural structures, or trying to defy gravity by building as tall as you possibly can.
We have also taken our Blue Blocks out into the community to share the Dig It Experience with other schools and camps.
We see your posts on social media with the Blue Blocks all the time- always building the most intricate and coolest robots, forts, trains, and boats! What are some of the more unique builds you guys have seen/done? What are some of your favorites?
We are in awe of the creativity and “outside-the-box” thinking that we get to witness in our Blue Block area. Sometimes we try to capture pictures before the inevitable changing landscape of a play space.
An adult friend of one of our families decided to create a study in balance by going to great lengths to stack the Big Blue blocks as high as he possibly could. Our Crew was convinced that a child was going to knock it down, but everyone was just watching him to see how high he could go.
Sometimes when kids are in school and our days are less busy, we will send Crew to the floor to play. I also encourage them to leave up or build something in the Blue Block area so that when children come in in the morning, they get excited to come over and check it out. Here are a few of those builds:
In your experience, what are the children’s favorite aspects of using the Blue Blocks?
At Dig It, we pride ourselves in being a play space where the answers are “yes”. “Yes, you can do that”; “Yes, you can build that”; “Yes, you are strong enough”; “Yes, you are smart enough”. Our Blue Blocks support all of those statements. Because they are big, but light weight, the smallest of kids can pick up the biggest of blocks and build something or just carry them from place to place. Children also LOVE our design wall; being able to pull out trucks or stop signs and use them in a build or figure out how to put them back in the wall is such an engaging experience.
The Dino bones are just so cool! Anytime we bring them out, I think the parents get just as excited as the children. Being able to build a dinosaur and have it look however they want, sparks a lot of interesting discussions.
The kids also really enjoy playing with the Small and Medium Blue Blocks because they are smaller versions of the big ones. Those blocks keep children busy for a long time. For a little extra fun, we will add animals, dinosaurs, or sensory materials.
What would you tell another organization that was considering purchasing Imagination Playground Blocks?
Get them NOW! They are worth every penny. There is nothing like watching children discover their own power and their ability to build big things. David Rockwell said the intention behind the Big Blocks was for children to be able to build their own playground. We would venture to say that Big Blue Blocks allow children to build their own world!
Is there any further information you would like to give to people located local to you about how to contact you, future programming, etc.?
If you live in or are visiting the Los Angeles or Torrance area, please come play! You can reserve tickets at www.digittorrance.com. Interested in booking a party or field trip, call us at +1- 310-943-7391. If you would like to stay up to date on all the fun at Dig It, please follow us on Instagram @dig_it_play.
Dig It is owned by Mycotoo, an entertainment development company based in Pasadena, California, that specializes in themed and interactive experiences.