Monday, March 24, 2014


This playground is inspiring because it provides a great opportunity for team work during play time. Kids can use the simple percussive instruments to create sounds together, the benefit being they can learn to produce something creative collaboratively. The close proximity of the pieces reinforces the awareness other children when using the space. It would be difficult for the children to ignore each other when they're so close together and producing noise. They might even be inclined to show each other the curious sounds they could get out of the different pieces, which is a great way for kids to interact and form friendships. The other great thing about this play space is that a child could be perfectly entertained using it on their own, but the noises it emits will draw others in to see where it's coming from. It could be an enriching experience for a single child, or a group. The excitement children experience when discovering new sights or sounds can be made into an opportunity for intergroup contact.

The whale playground is very cool because it's a massive form that would be really curious to kids. There are so many ways to approach the structure, and so many opportunities to meet other curious children to be had. Some kids are going to want to climb the back and tail of the whale, others are going to play with the really fun baleen pieces, some will venture into the belly of the whale and camp out with other kids for a while. The open planks let kids see each other through them, or yell to each other. There is enough space to hold a bunch of kids, but not enough space for them to isolate themselves when the playground has some traffic. The whimsy of it is going to draw children together, and they might even share some whale facts that they know. The structure also encourages pretend pretend games about the ocean or just a narrative about being on a real life whale.

This is a nice feature to allow children who aren't physically able to run around to participate in some imaginative play. I could see this becoming a space ship, submarine, or some other adventure related vehicle. Even if a child is confined to a specific type of chair and the provided ones are not suitable, they could sit at the front and steer, or be partners with a friend and sit next to them on the adventure. For a group of able bodied children this is still an interesting piece to have at a playground because it encourages them to pretend. Pretending in groups is very valuable because it's a great way for kids to exchange ideas about the world around them, and teach each other without even noticing that they are learning. I think this type of play also promotes stronger bonds than sports or other games because it involves a constant dialogue that everyone participates in to keep the fantasy of the game going. Everyone's participation makes a difference to the experience, and the takeaway is more memorable than a game that has rules.

I like this playground because it uses natural elements to build a playscape. The feeling is very adventurous, and it is structurally uncomplicated which prevents children from straying. This playground is definitely intended for children who are capable of being very active. It isn't as inclusive as many traditional playgrounds have the potential to be, but there are some very beneficial elements to this structure that should be enjoyed by those who can manage it. The wavering surfaces and the rope elements are really unique, and will encourage teamwork while getting across some of them. When I was a little kid I preferred using more challenging elements like monkey bars with a friend rather than alone. these features are nice and wide and would produce the same mentality while fitting more children together. The blue rope for example can fit quite a few young kids on it at once, and the balance beam like structures around it are just wide enough to create two lane trails even though it would be challenging. Even if kids lose their balance it's low enough to the ground for them to land on their feet. The rope swing at the end is like a reward to those who made it across, and is located closely to the blue rope grid where some of the kids will always be congregated.

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