The Project

The ProjectThe DesignThe Sensory ExperienceArthur’s Story


1. Wooden fence

2. Wooden platform with pergola roof and integrated seating/storage bins

3. Wooden arbor and gate

4. Wooden castle

5. Wooden boat with interactive fishing reels and telescope

6. Green rubber playground surface

7. ‘Woodlands’ rubber playground surface

8. ‘Pond’ surface with lily pads

9. Garden path

10. Tricycle path

11. Sand play area

12. Movable tables with interchangeable game tops

13. Flexible reed features planted around the pond

14. Water spout and basin

15. Log tunnel

16. Wooden balance beam

17. Log seats

18. Mushroom seats

19. Sand digger

20. Sand table

21. Musical chimes

22. Low wooden planters

23. Fence-mounted flower boxes

24. Easel/chalkboard mounted on the fence

25. ‘Arthur’s Garden’ commemorative plaque

The Project

Arthur’s Garden is a sensory playground for children attending the Petits Anges de Wesley Daycare. The project marks the 10th year of the daycare and with it, a desire to create an environment where all children can discover and thrive.

The Design

Arthur’s Garden will provide a landscape geared toward sensory stimulation, cognitive development, communications skills, and fine and gross motor skills.

It will include many sensory-based elements, all ingeniously incorporated into an English-styled garden and playground:

  • A sensory playground, which uses different panels to help children build tolerances to different sensory stimulation.
  • A music garden where children can play with outdoor musical instruments to help with sensory aspects.
  • An edible garden/greenhouse that allows hands-on interactions with nature and opportunities for horticulture therapy.
  • A variety of alcoves, which provide children with a place to get away when they feel overwhelmed and want to regain control.


The Sensory Experience

Arthur’s Garden will be a sensory garden specifically created to be accessible and enjoyable to both disabled and non-disabled children attending Les Petits Anges de Wesley daycare. Its purpose is to provide individual and combined sensory opportunities for the user such that they may not normally experience.

The design will stimulate all six senses: touch, smell, taste, sound, sight and vestibular. The idea is to engage children attending the daycare to explore their surroundings using any of their five senses, encouraging them to explore and discover.

Because some of the children attending the daycare are physically or mentally challenged, the daycare wanted to create a space particularly beneficial to helping with challenges with socialization, communication, play and imagination.

Sensory playgrounds attract children and encourage exploration and discovery. The English garden-inspired design seeks harmony and balance with the features of Wesley United church, which is a heritage building.

To learn more about the benefits of sensory play and sensory garden:

Highscope Extensions – Look, Listen, Touch, Feel, Taste: The Importance of Sensory Play (PDF)

PBS Parents – Developing and Cultivating Skills Through Sensory Play

New Publications – AET Newsletter, June 2010 (DOC)

The Influence of Sensory Gardens on the Behavior of Children with Special Educational Needs



Arthur’s Story

Arthur Carr was born in London, England in 1928. One of seven children, he was always a curious child but shy in nature.

In 1968 Arthur and Marie took in two children who were in need of a family and some love: our own daycare director, Liane Tusa, and her sister Gillian. Through the years, Arthur taught them valuable life lessons about family and compassion.

Arthur has always been an avid gardener, creating outdoor spaces dedicated to stimulate the mind and encouraging exploration. Using nature and a variety of different materials, Arthur created many special gardens for family and friends to interact, socialize and gather.

Arthur’s Garden is a tribute to Arthur Carr’s devotion to Liane and her sister, and to his passion for gardening.