Check out the best of London's playgrounds with well known advocates and lovers of innovative playground design Tim Gill (rethinking childhood
) and Paige Johnson (Playscapes
). There is a parallel event happening in NYC too in this first ever and hopefully recurring Open for Play. My only disappointment about this great news is that I won't be able to join all the playground aficionados in London. I'm sure there will be posts in both Tim and Paige's blogs.
for organizing what is sure to be a great event.
Posted in Uncategorized, playground, London, London, England, playground design, Outdoor Play, Tim Gill, Open for Play, Paige Johnson, playable space, public space, urban design
For the next 16 days the world will be watching the action unfold at London’s XXX Olympiad. This is a time of focused, high performance play when athletes try to exceed their personal best for the ultimate glory of a podium prize. There will be no shortage of superhuman accomplishments over the course of these two weeks, incredible stories of endurance, strength and skill.
I can’t help but wonder how many of the gifted athletes from all corners of the globe were risk takers at their local play places as they were growing up. Was outdoor play an important component of their early childhoods?
When all the medals are counted, when the athletes and fans have returned home and the brouhaha is a distant echo, the Olympic site will be reclaimed for the people of London and transformed into Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. One of the features will be a spanking new playground.
Click to enlarge
The designers were selected through a competitive process. You can read about it in Tim Gill’s blog Rethinking Childhood. Tim is a former Director of the Children’s Play Council now Play England and was a member of one of the juries that reviewed designers’ submissions.
erect architecture and Land Use Consultants (LUC) are the winners of the North Park competition. The London Legacy Development Corporation’s news release describes erect architecture as “an emerging practice with a strong focus on culture, education and play. Their buildings and playspaces have won several high profile awards for projects such as the Kilburn Grange Playpark in north-west London.”
Based on the design and the firm’s previous work, we can look forward to an exciting playscape taking shape post Olympics.
Kilburn Grange Adventure Playground, London. Source: UK Playground Adventure
If you’re in London with kids and aren’t taking in any Olympic action, or just need a break, check out London Play and click on their ‘Play in London’ menu button to find Adventure Playgrounds and more.
We can’t all be Olympians but we can all play, play, play…
Posted in erect architecture, Kilburn Grange Adventure Playground, London, London Legacy Development Corporation, London Play, London, England, Play England, PlayGroundology, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Tim Gill, UK Playground Adventure, XXX Olympiad
Generally speaking, parents want their kids to experience the fullness of the world – the quiet beauty, the dizzying adventure, the discovery of self and others. As much as possible we want to keep hurt and injury at bay but they too are part of the mix with cuts, scrapes and breaks both corporeal and psychological. So how do we go about assessing risk? How do we ensure that our kids aren’t enclosed in a cocoon of safety?
I saw this video a couple of nights ago and thought I would play a small role in helping to spread the word. Right now it’s at 373 views. After you’ve watched it, please share with your friends and your broader network.
Thanks to the Alliance for Childhood and KaBOOM! for producing this piece.
A couple of Mondays per month, PlayGroundology screenshots a cyberspot that focuses on playgrounds, or play. I hope readers dive in and explore. Even if you’ve seen the selection before, take a moment and check to see what content has been added recently.
Think of this as a very slow stumble upon, an invitation to relish something new or to revisit an old friend. Some of the people and places may be household names in the world of play and playgrounds, others not so much. I hope all will pique your interest in what they have to offer and further your own possibilities for playfulness.
rethinking childhood is a relatively new blog under the pen of Tim Gill. Tim is well known as a respected advocate of play in the UK and beyond.
Tim believes that children and young people have the potential to be more resilient, capable and creative than we give them credit for. Yet their lives are becoming ever more scheduled, controlled and directed. If children are to enjoy and make the most of their lives, we need to revisit and revise our ideas of what a good childhood looks and feels like. We need to reconnect children with the people and places around them, and with the natural world on their doorstep. We need to design neighbourhoods so that it is easy for children to walk, cycle and play near their homes. We need to improve play and recreational spaces and services, and ensure that schools, nurseries and childcare settings give children time and space for play and exploration. We need to support parents, so they feel able to give their children some of the freedoms that previous generations enjoyed when they were young. We need to accept that it is natural and healthy for children to take risks, make mistakes, have everyday adventures and test themselves and their boundaries. In short, we need to expand the horizons of childhood. (Source: rethinking childhood)
rethinking childhood is truly worth a read. Don’t take my word for it, pop on over yourself.