The tree, which was officially opened by The Hon Martin Foley MP, Victorian Minister for Health, has been a labour of love that started from the opening of the Monash Children’s Hospital, creatively imagined and nurtured by The Walt Disney Company and built through the generous support of Moose Toys.
This wonderful space has been created for children and adults alike, from the children who have been confined to the hospital due to illness, to those visiting their sick siblings, and to parents who need a small sense of relief and happiness during stressful and worrying times. Guests to the tree are encouraged to explore, restore and play through a variety of sensory experiences.
Standing at over 16 metres tall, the tree spans four levels of the Monash Children’s Hospital and offers up a variety of activities and spaces for visitors to explore, play or relax. This magical and wonderous space has been designed and created to help transform the patient’s hospital experience.
“At Moose Toys, we are deeply entwined with the Monash Children’s Hospital. With over a decade of partnering together, they have become part of the Moose family,’’ said Paul Solomon, Co-Owner of Moose Toys. “We are incredibly excited to help bring to life The Moose Imagination Tree, a structure that will help cement Monash Children’s Hospital as a world class paediatric hospital.”
“The Moose Imagination Tree is the physical embodiment of everything our foundation stands for. Allowing kids to be kids no matter what their circumstances, to have access to the pure power of play and to use their imaginations. Helping them forget they are in hospital, makes it so meaningful. We exist to make children happy and we believe this spectacular structure will most definitely do this.”
At the centre of the tree is a magical area known as ‘The Knot’, a special place that invites visitors to place their hand on it and share their deepest desires, dreams and thoughts. These are then carried up into the tree in a dazzling display of sound and stardust. As the sky above the tree moves from day to night, stardust carries what we’ve imagined up to the sky, until it overflows and is released into the brightest star above.
At the base of the tree on level 2, guests can partake in a host of unique activities, climbing grassy hills, following animal tracks in the mud, lounging around the watering hole, playing floor games and listening to the sounds of the wild.
Level 3 is an inviting space filled with a collection of hanging artefacts. Here, guests can bang away on drums or dig through an African basket filled with smaller instruments to create lively beats and harmonious melodies.
As guests travel upward through the Moose Imagination Tree, they find themselves leaving behind the wild activity of the grasslands and lower canopy, and moving toward more peaceful spaces that promote quieter, deeper connections.
On level 4, there is a relaxing space for friends to congregate, connect and unwind, leaving behind the world they are in, even just for a few moments.
On the very top level, a true retreat, guests can lie back on large beanbags that blend in with the surrounding canopy to read favourite books or watch the sky change from day to night, which is when the Imagination Tree becomes alive with the power of possibility.