Category Archives: Flickr

Play Is Play For A’ That

Robert Burns Day is a fine time to share a flickr photo gallery of Scottish playgrounds. Though playgrounds per se were not part of Burns’ 18th century cultural landscape, I have a feeling that in today’s context Scotland’s Bard would be a vocal and formidable supporter of children’s right to play.

4525711335_43b32dd33e_bMake-shift Climbing Frame, Kingussie, Scotland. Photo credit – Dunnock D. License – (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

Burns personified the independent mind which is also a characteristic of parents, teachers, advocates, designers, artists, playworkers, landscape architects, planners and community organizers involved in making possible creative play for kids. Free play and independent minds, I’m sure there is a correlation…

Raise a dram for Rabbie tonight and rest assured he’d be speaking out for the bairns if he were with us today. In his absence, we have the fine folks at Play Scotland to carry the torch and fight the good fight – kids everywhere have a right to play.

Here’s leaving you with a wee bit o’ Burns.

To a Mouse

Small, sleek, cowering, timorous beast,
Oh, what panic is in your breast!
You need not start away so hasty
With a hurrying scamper!
I would be loath to run and chase you,
With a murderous spade!

I’m truly sorry that Man’s dominion
Has broken Nature’s social union,
And justifies that ill opinion
Which makes you startled
At me, your poor, earth-born companion
And fellow mortal!

I doubt not that you may steal;
So what? Poor beast, you must live!
An odd ear from twenty four sheaves of corn
is a small request:
I’ll get a blessing with the rest,
And never miss it!

Your tiny housie, too, is in ruin!
Its feeble walls the winds are strewing!
And nothing now, from which to build a new one
Of foliage green!
And bleak December’s winds ensuing
Both bitter and keen!

You saw the fields laid bare and wasted
And weary Winter coming fast,
And cosy here, beneath the blast,
You thought to dwell,
Until crash! the cruel plow passed
Right through your cell.

That tiny heap of leaves and stubble (grain stalks)
Has cost you many a weary nibble!
Now you are turned out for your trouble
Without house or home (belongings),
To endure the Winter’s sleety dribble,
and frosty cold.

But Mousie, you are not alone
In proving that foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes (plans) of mice and men
Go oft astray (oft go awry)
And leave us nothing but grief and pain
Instead of promised joy!

Still, you are blessed, compared with me!
Only this moment touches you:
But oh! I backward cast my eye
On prospects turned to sadness!
And though forward I cannot see,
I guess and fear!

It’s Starting to Feel a lot like Christmas – Snow Playgrounds

NORAD has the market on tracking Santa just about cornered. Kids all over the world follow St. Nick’s Christmas Eve progress online.

In just over a week, the jolly old guy will launch his sled and Christmas 2012 will be here. Kids will be dreaming of a white Christmas where climate makes it a possibility and wondering perhaps what the white stuff is really like if they live outside of the snow zones. Here in Canada’s far east we’re buffeted by Arctic and Atlantic winds at this time of year. So far they’ve only brought us a few dancing flakes that haven’t amounted to anything lasting.

3137172_a6ca8c2550Tisdall Elementary School playground, Vancouver, Canada. Photo Credit – gillicious. License – CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

The ‘It’s Starting to Feel a lot like Christmas – Snow Playgrounds’ gallery is a selection of 18 photos created by looking through 1000s of images of snowy playground posted by flickr members. Each one of these 18 tickled my fancy in some way. I hope you will get some enjoyment out of them too.

Sculpting Play – Freezing Time

I love to see joyful kids at play immortalized in public art. The frozen in time playfulness in sculpted forms can put a spring in our steps and a smile on our faces like this barefoot piggy back race.

7052421545_6960279ddd_cSingapore Botanic Gardens. Photo Credit – Choo Yut Shing. License – CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Sifting through the flickr world of images, it seems that sculptures of playing kids are particularly popular in the United States. In the Sculpture of Play flickr gallery, public art from Bangladesh, Japan, Italy and Canada is also represented.

5635549014_f5008d4b6a_zDendermonde, Belgium. Photo credit – egonwegh. License – CC BY-NC 2.0.

I like to imagine that these posed stances are momentarily released from their immobility each time a child plays in their vicinity or an adult pauses to wistfully reminisce about days of play in years gone by.

Hats off to flickr photographers who allow others to curate and share their work. Click Sculptures of Play for the lightbox version of the gallery.

I have yet to come across any public art depicting play in my hometown of Halifax, Canada. I have been wondering though if, in communities that have commissioned art that depicts play, there is a corresponding commitment to providing public play spaces.

If you have any photos of public art depicting play, drop us a line and we’ll post to PlayGroundoloy FB.

Play Faces

Kids look awesome when they’re playing, having fun. The movements, gestures and sounds are a universal language. Here are a few photos to share through the generosity of flickr members who use Creative Commons licenses for their work. I hope you’ll enjoy these faces of play.

Click images to enlarge.

Happy Face – Playing in the Fields; Photo credit – Joseph Andie R Lamug; Source; Creative Commons .
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Child Play – Madagascar, child playing with a automobile made of carrot and other vegetables; Photo credit – Michele Molinari; Source; Creative Commons.

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On the Run – Bangalore, India; Photo credit- Syed Nabil Aljunid; Source; Creative Commons.

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Just having fun… – Guizhou, China; Photo credit – Sung Ming Whang; Source; Creative Commons

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Superman and friends playing with bubbles – Seattle, USA; Photo credit – wonderlane; Source; Creative Commons

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Boys Playing Stickball, Havana, Cuba, 1999; Photo credit – Cliff; Source; Creative Commons.

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Playing; Photo credit – Michel Di Feliciantonio; Source; Creative Commons.

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J.O.Y. B.O.Y.; Photo credit – Vinoth Chandar; Source; Creative Commons.

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Woooo…; Photo credit – Mads Bødker; Source; Creative Commons.

Share a play face or two, or three within your social networks. Grab one from here – they all have creative commons licenses – or take one of your own images and share it around. Play faces are infectious, they make people smile.

Flickr Swings

This is a companion post to The Unbearable Lightness of Swinging. Click through here to a curated flickr gallery of 18 swing photos from around the world including an Independence Day themed shot for our American readers.

Kejimkujik National Park, Nova Scotia – Canada Day, July 1, 2012

Do you have a favourite photo of swings? Post it on PlayGroundology’s Facebook page.

Ciad Mile Failte – 100,000 Welcomes from Canada’s Ocean Playground

Late last week PlayGroundology clicked through to 100,000 page views. I want to say thanks and share this milestone with readers as it is your visits that made it happen.

Mayor Todd Franklin’s Neato Coolville

I’ve created a flickr slideshow that displays a number of blogs that have kindly introduced PlayGroundology to their readership. The slideshow starts with a page from the Mayor of Neato Coolville’s blog, an early supporter of PlayGroundology. Mayor Todd Franklin’s encouragement helped get me off to a good start.

Word of mouth, twitter, flickr, FB, Pinterest, other play and parenting bloggers and some mainstream media have also helped develop a growing audience. Thanks also to subscribers, commenters, guest contributors, pinners and those who have listed PlayGroundology as a favourite or a blog they follow.

From Canada’s Ocean Playground where the Gaelic is still a living spoken language, Ciad Mile Failte. The translation is 100,000 Welcomes and let me add 100,000 ‘Thank Yous’.

Thank you each and everyone. I’m hoping a few more 100,000 page views lie ahead.

Swiss Miss gives PlayGroundology a shout out.

Click here to see more PlayGroundology friends.

For those of you not familiar with the slogan Canada’s Ocean Playground, it is none other than Nova Scotia which just happens to be Playgroundology‘s home.

Playground Bunnies in America’s Heartland

Bunnies are big in Ohio playgrounds. Thanks to photog chronicler extraordinaire scottamus, PlayGroundology can get hopping with a few photos this Easter Sunday morning.

Photo credit: scottamus. Click image to enlarge.

This must be the Easter snow bunny that howled through our Nova Scotia community last night because there are now drifts outside our house covering yesterday’s green, green grass. Luckily there are no eggs buried under the white stuff.
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Photo credit – scottamus. Click image to enlarge.
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Photo credit: scottamus. Click image to enlarge.

Weather worn and in full stride.
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Photo credit: scottamus. Click image to enlarge.

This little rider reminds of that wascally, wacky rabbit, Bugs.
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Photo credit: scottamus. Click image to enlarge.

Ghost rider Easter bunny looking a little long in the rabbit tooth.
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More scottamus playground bunny finds here and a fine collection of old playground photos here.

Thanks scottamus for enabling these rider rabbits to take on the Easter Bunny persona today. May the chocolate eggs be with you.