Category Archives: Our Treasure Map

St. Kilda for Patron Saint of Playgrounds

Do I hear any votes for St. Kilda as the Patron Saint of Playgrounds? It seems that Kilda has never been canonized so he/she is up for grabs. As my Down Under flub from a couple of weeks back demonstrates, there’s at least two reasons in Australia that Kilda would make a great nominee for a patronly protector.

Seeing an opportunity to help celebrate the 30th anniversary of Australia’s St Kilda Adventure Playground I posted photos on the PlayGroundology blog and FB Page. The one that appears below was quite popular given the number of times it was liked, shared and commented upon.

NOT the 30th anniversary St. Kilda. Photo credit – Fernando de Sousa; (CC BY-SA 2.0). Source: flickr

Little did I know however that there are two St Kilda Adventure Playgrounds in Australia. The error was kindly pointed out by the great folks at Melbourne Playgrounds and by Andrew Coulson who works with Adelaide’s local government.

Yes, that’s right, in Australia there is double the pleasure with St. Kilda – one in Melbourne and one in Adelaide about 750 kilometres apart, just close enough that you could hop in a car and play at both on the same day. If there is any kind soul, agency, media house, or government out there who would like to sponsor my family to take on this feat of adventurous play and report on it, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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As it turns out, both photos I used to illustrate the 30th anniversary celebrations of the Adelaide St. Kilda Adventure Playground were of the wrong playground. The only saving grace on the blog post was a YouTube video that was shot in the ‘right’ St. Kilda and a link to a pinterest board full of photos.

The mix up gave rise to another idea for PlayGroundology – Map Maker Mondays. On a couple of Mondays every month, I’ll be plotting playgrounds on Our Treasure Map and sharing the newly plotted playgrounds on the PlayGroundology FB page. St. Kilda Adventure Playground – Adelaide and St. Kilda Adventure Playground – Melbourne are the inaugural Map Maker Monday playgrounds. Join me and plot some of your own on the Our Treasure Map platform.

Here’s a photo of the real deal 30th anniversary St. Kilda Adventure Playground in Adelaide. Apologies for any confusion caused by my earlier errors in identification.

There is a ruggedness that runs through these two adventure playgrounds. That’s somehow fitting as their shared name migrated to the southern hemisphere with the Scots. St. Kilda is a small archipelago at the western reaches of the Outer Hebrides.

In the 1850s, forty-two islanders emigrated to Australia. Many of the emigrants died en-route, but a few settled in Melbourne, and to this day a suburb of the city is called St Kilda – named after the schooner The Lady of St Kilda which was anchored off the shore at around this time. Source: St. Kilda

There has been no permanent human habitation there since 1930 and the islands are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

And that is my Tale of the Two Kildas with a Saint thrown in for good measure.

Cast your vote today for St. Kilda as the Patron Saint of Playgrounds….

Treasure Maps and Playground Pirates

In North America, it’s the season to see bands of pint-sized pirates, cowboys, astronauts, superheroes, Mario Brothers and others out and about in the streets in preparation for the annual Hallowe’en pilgrimmage. Our Nellie-Rose took on a swashbuckling persona at a recent visit to a community centre party. She makes for a very fetching pirate captain I think – eat your heart out Johnny.

By serendipitous happenstance, at the same time Nellie-Rose was suiting up for her arrgh me maties moments, my inbox goes ping with a London’s calling treasure. It’s a great email from Verônica telling me all about the new venture she’s embarked on with her partner Rodrigo – mapping the playgrounds of the world.

Map View – London

Following an afternoon in downtown London, these transplanted Brazilians were looking for a playground break for their daughter who was beyond bored after a shopping expedition. There was nothing in sight and when they used their mobile devices to look for something all that came up were Thai Restaurants and Sex Shops – not the fare they were interested in.

That experience inspired Verônica and Rodrigo to get mapping. They are setting sail and inviting playground lovers to join the crew. While adventuring, they will locate and mark treasure troves with an ‘X’, well okay, with a swing icon actually.

It’s early days for Our Treasure Map, its companion blog and Facebook Page so the number of sites are limited and concentrated primarily in London, UK. The plan is to reach out and incorporate already available information and track down new data.

Map View Brasilia

Our Treasure Map’s Brazilian friends have been busy loading up the platform with playgrounds from Brasilia, Rio and Sao Paulo. There’s plenty of room for adding more playgrounds and other child engaging activities and places. The site has a mobile version and the couple are working on developing an app too.

Rocket Playground at Ana Lidai Park in Brasilia.

When the sky is the limit, there’s lots to do and plenty of room to fly. I tried the ‘add a playground’ feature – it’s totally painless. Our Treasure Map now has its first entry from Nova Scotia a few kilometres from our home and not far from a popular swimming beach. Add something yourself and don’t forget the photos. They can make all the difference.

Verônica and Rodrigo are looking for feedback on Our Treasure Map 1.0 and will make changes and introduce new elements based on what they hear from users. So do drop into the Facebook Page and let them know what’s working for you and what you might like to see added. My parting comment – I love the little pirate guy, reminds me of our Noah-David.

Help chart the course of play and share your playground riches on Our Treasure Map. Happy Hallowe’en…