Play is an important activity for human beings. It is fun, imaginative and also crucial for the development of social skills, creativity, and adaptability in an uncertain world. Playgrounds, products of the rapid urbanization and industrialization in the late 19th-century, are important places for children to learn to interact with others and develop their physical strengths. While children always come up with new ways to interact with various objects in modern playgrounds and don't seem to get bored with them, common playground equipment such as slides, swings, see-saws and monkey bars suggests prescribed ways of play in these popular community spaces that should and can have more potential for imagination.
Not satisfied with the current design of most playgrounds, some have developed new pieces that facilitate creativity (e.g., Imagination Playground blocks). In this video, architects from world-class design firms present a series of new playground pieces that draw inspiration from nature and aim to facilitate creative and lively play.
What do you think about their designs? How are they different from other popular playground objects? Share your thoughts with other educators in the discussion on Vialogues! Excerpts from the discussion:
@03:43 Clark: The nature play of this one is beautiful. I'd love to be able to hide in a tree!
@04:17 Clark: It's notable that these playgrounds focus on discovery and freedom rather than keeping kids busy and letting them work off steam. Every item in these new playgrounds has a purpose!