The Children’s School of Oak Park, a progressive K-8 school outside Chicago, turned their parking lot into a nature play space on a nonprofit budget—a little over $1,000 all told. How did they do it? A grant from the Deep Roots Project was part of it. The volunteer-led Chicago community organization teaches people to grow… Read more »
Blog Category: Natural Playgrounds
If you’ve been following national education trends with even passing interest, you’re familiar with STEM. The curricular model focuses on educating students across four disciplines (science, technology, engineering, and math) through an integrated, applied learning approach. It first gained ground under the Obama administration’s 2009 “Educate to Innovate” campaign, galvanized by the recognition that US… Read more »
It was against the backdrop of the volatile interwar years in Europe that celebrated Danish landscape architect, Carl Theodor Sørensen first conceived of the idea of skrammellegepladsers or, “junk playgrounds”. Observing children playing in junkyards and construction sites, he was struck by the notion that, through a child’s eyes, almost any object could become beautiful… Read more »
Accessibility is crucial for children who use wheelchairs or other mobility devices to enjoy playgrounds, and a big part of that relies on surfacing. Ground surfaces along accessible routes and maneuvering spaces must comply with the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) F 1951- 99 standard. The standard measures the work an individual must… Read more »
Playgrounds Were Nothing New, Until Goric’s Founder Helped Change the Game It all comes down to perspective. Children explore a world much different than the ones inhabited by adults. Everything is bigger and harder to reach. As a child, it can often seem that adults spend their time telling you what not to do, rather than encouraging you… Read more »
The German Playground Designer Peter Heuken traces the beginnings of his world-renowned work to the age of five. That’s when he received his first real tool kit. It is not usually recommended to give sharp blades and other adult tools to someone barely past the toddler stage of life. Luckily, Mr. Heuken was not your typical child. Even… Read more »
When I was a young child in kindergarten my class would walk down to the Credit River in Misissauga, Ontario, every Friday morning. We would walk along the river and sometimes collect leaves, pebbles, sticks or pinecones for craft projects. We learned about the natural world by exploring and experiencing the sounds and texture of the nature… Read more »
Important issues when designing a hill slide: 1. Adequate shading. All playground equipment needs shade. All materials get hot, even plastic! So make sure to design your area accordingly. 2. What material is appropriate for your requirements? Stainless steel, plastic (polyethylene) or corian? They all have pros and cons. 3. Slope of the slide. Be sure to… Read more »
I spent the last few days of my European trip in Sweden visiting my step brother, Simon and his family. Stockholm is beautiful at night (and I’m sure during the day too) and the countryside is picturesque. I really don’t think I’ve ever seen a more amazing sky at night with such a clear view of… Read more »
A couple of weeks ago I took my 2 nephews and niece on a play date to the Cambridge Common playground. The youngest, 2, went straight for the loose blocks, the middle (girl), 4, quickly found a pale to fill with sand and the oldest, 7, climbed up the mound. It was interesting to see… Read more »
This is time where the caregiver can share their knowledge and experience of the natural world with their little ones in a relevant way.
It never ceases to amaze me how intensely the adults are playing along side their children: filling up buckets of water to pour into the pits that have been tirelessly dug out, carefully arranging turned over pails of sand to create the walls of a castle, patting sand and making proper use of the dry sand verses wet sand. I can’t help but smile because the adults are really having just as much fun as the children.