Amidst the sleepless nights recently I have started catching up on lots of reading – first target a pile of half read magazines. In these was the last edition of Junior which included a fabulous article on playgrounds.
David Rockwell is an American architect who recently has shifted his focus to playgrounds exploring how they can be more interactive and child-directed. In his designs he includes ‘playful props’ to introduce elements of risk and to boost cognitive development. Children use a collection of bendy foam blocks to create their own playground. In the playground David has designed in New York there is a cascading water channel, masts with pulleys, rigging to climb, a listening forest and a collection of sacks, buckets and brooms. Plenty of scope for a child’s imagination to run wild.
As my boys have grown up we have spent a lot of time in playgrounds. Most of them are the traditional playground with swings and slides. The boys love these and they are an important part of their ‘play experience’. But as they grow older we are always on the lookout for new and exciting play areas. Places that challenge their imagination. Places such as the play area at Brockhole near |Preston – Fell Foot Park in Cumbria – Grizedale Forest.
But for young children playgrounds like these are often hard to find. So over the next few days I’ll post a few ideas from Junior on inventive ways to play and some good adventure playgrounds.