Free Play

I am an avid reader of SwissMiss. I especially appreciate her Friday Pack Link. It’s always a well curated list of fresh things that I haven’t seen before.  This past Friday I saw this teaser below.

- The Overprotected Kid: A preoccupation with safety has stripped childhood of independence, risk taking, and discovery—without making it safer. A new kind of playground points to a better solution.

I followed the link over to the article in the Atlantic. It’s about a new kind of playground taking hold in the UK called “the Land” that allows for risky play.

theland

At the Land playground, adult “playworkers” watch over the children, but rarely intervene. (Hanna Rosin)

It looks like a documentary is being made about the Land.  The director, Erin Davis, lives in Vermont.  Wouldn’t it be great if this documentary could be screened at the New Hampshire Film Festival in October 2014? It could inspire a Land playground on the Seacoast!

The best part of this whole story is that I shared the Atlantic article on FB, and my Aunt Hep (by marriage) emailed me the message and photos below. Talk about inspiring.

Hi Jen,
I was interested in your Facebook posting about playground ideas, and thought you might be entertained with photos of a playground we built at the local elementary school in 1972.  Our parent teacher group had $600 to spend and found that we could buy one slide, so we decided to go DIY. We solicited materials from the town DPW and got lots of retired power poles, used tires and one nice piece of conduit pipe.  We had a meeting where people could make hands on designs from bits of dowel, O rings and other stuff.  Once designs were selected, the designer was captain of the team to build his or her item.  We had a work day.  We were lucky that the town had dumped swept up road sand in the area for years, so it was an easy surface to build on.  After everything was built, we had another work day to paint the poles in order to minimize splinters.  All ages pitched in that day.  Money was spent on paint and metal rods plus the balance beam which was good lumber.  The playground lasted about 20 years.
xox
Hep

Just look at these pictures.

Playground 1, '72

Playground 2, '72

Playground 3, '72

playground 4, '72

Playground 5, '72playground 6, '72

Playground 7,'72

The balance beam is my favorite.  I CLEARLY remember making my own balance beam in my yard when I was a kid.  I made it with found cement blocks and a plank of wood.  I imagined I was practicing my Olympic routine, over and over and over again.  I remember it as clear as day.

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One thought on “Free Play

  1. Love this. Free play and experiential ed is very close to my heart!

    Feel free to keep me posted on things like this :)

    Serena

    Serena Galleshaw

    *Managing Director* ::Seacoast *Local * Ph: 603.767.5893 Web: Facebook | Twitter Office: 1 Washington Street |**Change of address* Suite 320 *| Dover, NH 03820

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