Index by Country

Australia

Playground IdeasAustralia
What I immediately enjoyed at Playground Ideas was the sense of resourcefulness that informs their approach to do-it-yourself playgrounds. There is hope here too and dreams – just look at the wonderful iconography of a child swinging from a shade bearing cloud. Playground Ideas works with a clientele that is far too populous.

Playground Manufacturer Wins Top Honours at National Design ShowMelbourne, Victoria
It’s not everyday that a playground manufacturer wins a major design award. In fact, I don’t know if it has ever happened before. That’s exactly what transpired last week for Danish firm KOMPAN at the Australian International Design Awards show in Melbourne.

Vampires in Australian PlaygroundsSydney, New South Wales
Well, not exactly. But there is one playground where some scary creative for a new outdoor advertising campaign was plastered in plain sight of children. One mother went right to the heart of the matter and had the offending advertisement removed.

Belgium

16th Century Play – Brueghel Paints His Way Into HistoryBelgium
One child, two and three – play there must be. Flemish Renaissance painter Brueghel brushstroked the first play-a-thon that he entitled Young Folk at Play.

Canada

Arresting Playground Photos INewfoundland
4th photo – The Abandoned Trinity Loop Amusement Park in Trinity, Newfoundland

Art as Play – The Indoors – Outdoors PlaygroundOttawa, Ontario
In the interior courtyard of Ottawa’s City Hall there is a place where the door is always open. The Living Room is a multiple piece static sculpture by the design duo at Urban Keios.

Ballon Poire – Pear Ball - Montreal, Québec
Ballon poire
is a very popular Quebec schoolyard game. This excerpt from a lively sock it to you match up was shot near Parc Jarry in Montreal earlier this spring.

Feel the Motion at 1950s PlaygroundHalifax, Nova Scotia
This brief excerpt from a 1957 promotional film shot in Halifax, Nova Scotia features two pieces of playground equipment that have gone the way of the dinosaur.

Go Tell it on the Mountain – Montréal’s Salamander PlaygroundMontreal, Québec
Montréal’s Salamander Playground incorporates new forms and equipment in a design by Cardinal Hardy Architects. Located in the city’s Mount Royal Park, it opened in June 2009 and is becoming a desination playscape within the city.

Harvest PlaygroundDempsey Corner Orchards, Nova Scotia
Dempsey Corner Orchards is a special treat for kids particularly those whose daily comings and goings are in an urban setting. It’s a real hybrid experience. There is the wonder of animals – chasing chicks and hens, petting calves and watching the goats face off against each other. There are fruit laden orchards with succulent harvests of apples, pears and peaches. And in the farmyard and its environs a playscape, built to the scale of open skies and rolling hills, is a busy scene of bustling energy.

In Toronto, A Kid’s Eye ViewToronto, Canada
Triumphal arches of play bridge the toddlers’ and big kids’ play areas at the Jamie Bell Adventure Playground in Toronto’s High Park. Vertical columns and cross beams are alive with kid’s eye view watercolours.

Let’s Play, Play, Play in St. Andrews By-The-SeaSt. Andrews, New Brunswick
It’s always a treat to unexpectedly come across a playground jewel. I love those sweet spot moments when I first see a new playscape that will become the subject of a PlayGroundology post.

Montreal Playground SightingsMontreal, Québec
In addition to friends, fine international cuisine, Québecois films and the Bibliothèque Nationale, I got to squeeze in a few playgrounds on our recent Montréal mini get away from it all trip. One afternoon my playground widow humoured me and tested out some equipment as we happenstanced across playspaces walking from Atwater Market in the west end to the central shopping strip on rue Ste. Catherine.

Playground Odysseys at Home and AbroadSorel, Québec
This is the story of a mini-marathon of playgrounds in Sorel, Québec in the summer of 2010. This is hometown for my kids’ maternal grandparents. They know the playgrounds here as well as those where we live. This is a simple and fun activity that can take place in any town with more than a handful of playgrounds.

Road Trippin’Maritimes, Québec, Ontario

Sling Swing – Halifax, Nova Scotia
Not all designs are created equal. This 1919 photo from Halifax, Nova Scotia is a good illustration of the maxim. The ‘sling swing’ is an innovative design that didn’t have staying power, never became the standard.

Strathcona’s Folly – Fit for a PrinceOttawa, Ontario
The setting is magical and enchanted, a page right out of children’s literature. Saint Exupéry’s The Little Prince would find a welcome refuge in this playscape, another station on his voyage of discovery. I can see the golden haired boy exploring in the midst of the ruins. There he is meditating on the slipperiness of time while his sheep grazes on the surrounding grass.

The Sling Swing – 1919Halifax, Nova Scotia
The ‘sling swing’ is an innovative design that didn’t have staying power, never became the standard. It was perhaps the precursor of the baby swing as we know it today. Note that it could be adjusted for sitting or reclining positions.

The Young Kids and the SeaMagdalen Islands, Québec
On a trip to the Atlantic coast Magdalen Islands we get a chance to play on two simple yet spectacular fishing boat playscapes.

TV Promo for Local Investment Stars Playground ManufacturerQuébec
French and English language television stations in Canada are broadcasting a 30 second pitch in support of a labour led capital investment fund promoting economic development – Le Fonds de solidarité FTQ. The star of the show is playground manufacturer Jambette. Viewers watch as a play structure is manufactured before their eyes, then are asked to invest locally.

Chile

Chilean Miners Playground – Industrial IngenuityChuquicamata, Chile
Otherworldly with a touch of the surreal describes some unique play structures that sit quietly in Chuquicamata, a former mining town in northern Chile. Located in the Atacama desert, the most arid on the planet, Chuqui is encircled by foothills of slag and tailings from nearly 100 years of mineral exploitation.

Denmark

Himmelhøj – Sky HighCopenhagen, Denmark
Since he was a young boy growing up in his adopted Australia, Alfio Bonanno knew he wanted to be an artist. At the age of 14, with the full support of his Italian family, he embarked on his apprenticeship in art. From the outset, he was drawn to the materials and the look of the natural world. He’s been on a global walkabout ever since.

Playground Manufacturer Wins Top Honours at National Design ShowMelbourne, Victoria
It’s not everyday that a playground manufacturer wins a major design award. In fact, I don’t know if it has ever happened before. That’s exactly what transpired last week for Danish firm KOMPAN at the Australian International Design Awards show in Melbourne.

France

Paris Playgrounds à la CarteParis, France
Paris is a city of passion. Embraces in bustling boulevards like Doisneau’s iconic Le Baiser de l’Hôtel de Ville are synonymous with romantic abandon. Not everyone has the good fortune to visit the City of Light in the first flushes of love. So if you’re in Paris with the kids and it’s not all romance all the time, les Parisiens have playgrounds too.

Hungary

Hungarian Playgrounds – Slides, Sculptures and Handcrafted WoodHungary
Click here for a Hungarian Playgrounds flickr gallery – slides, sculptures and handcrafted wood.

This Old Playground - Hungary
If there were a program called This Old Playground, I’m sure these young folks would steal the show. Játszótér felújítás is Hungarian for playground renovation. Just watch them get at it. The neglect here is approaching dereliction. It seems that love left long ago. (video)

New Zealand

Moving SmartNew Zealand
The body’s physical movement is a choreography of the possible propelling us through a dizzying menu of motion – stretch, twist, jump, tumble. If movement fascinates you, look no further. Moving Smart is full of great games for pre-schoolers, great photos and good fun.

Singapore

Going Philatelic in SingaporeSingapore
Singapore Post recently gave a hats off to playgrounds with a special issue of commemorative stamps. There are six playgrounds featured on the stamps which extol the virtues of play in developing social skills and physical coordination.

Sweden

IKEA playreportSweden
Thanks to the Polish blog Children’s Time for reviving my memory about this research. I was not able to locate IKEA’s original Facebook posting on the global study but found a downloadable copy of the playreport at Third Door Workhub and Nursery.

Tunisia

Tunisian Playgroundsvarious locations
A slide show of playground photos from Tunisia courtesy of Nicole Cordeau.

United Kingdom

Eden’s Fallen LogUnited Kingdom
Over a period of ten years, the Eden Project in Cornwall, England has transformed a disused clay mine into a lush and fertile oasis. Environmental, educational and cultural discoveries are the heartbeat of this wonderland.

Guerrillas in the Mist – Isle of Man Adventures in SwingIsle of Man, United Kingdom
If you’ve ever made or used a rope swing you are now and without realising it part of a movement… Welcome to Guerrilla Swing Movement!

A childhood wouldn’t be complete without using or creating a rope swing. More popular than the mundane manufactured swings you’ll find in your local park and often not for the faint of heart, these are the swings often made from old rope, lashed around the thickest available branch and often hanging over a river or significant drop. These are swings made by children for children!

Memorials – London, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. London, UK
The dedication of a memorial playground is a great way to commemorate a person’s life. Some honoured in this manner have walked the world stage. For others their influence has been more modest but no less important to those they touched. For all remembered in this way, a breath of magic is released each time a child calls their name. What follows is a snapshot of three memorial playgrounds.

Playgrounds Take a Hit in England - United Kingdom
Playgrounds are big news in England over the last couple weeks. On August 4, people in cities and towns throughout the country participated at over 860 events organized to celebrate the 22nd annual Playday campaign.

United States

Dennis is Dead, Long Live DennisMonterey, California
Hank Ketchum’s Dennis the Menace isn’t really dead. That lovable imp’s mischievous adventures are immortalized in syndicated comic strips around the world.

Great Playground News from the California LegislatureCalifornia
Historic playgrounds in California are one step closer to preservation and protection.

Manhattan’s Bronze GuyManhattan, NYC
Anthropomorphic architecture installation – Playground – by sculptor Tom Otterness and Playgroundology’s first post.

Monster Mash – Conservation Wins the Day in San Gabriel, CaliforniaSan Gabriel, California
So, you want to go play in a lagoon with monsters? Have I got the place for you. It’s not on the bayou, no endangered mangrove swamps at risk and no flora or fauna about to die off though the playground itself was threatened with extinction in the very recent past.

Once Upon A PlaygroundUSA
PlayGroundology allows me the opportunity to speak with many fine people from a variety of countries and backgrounds – artists, designers, advocates and activists, theorists and educators, photographers and psychologists, researchers, nostalgists, parents and beautiful dreamers. All are united in a fervent love of children, playgrounds and play and are mostly in it for the long haul.

I love it when we’re able to keep connected over time and PlayGroundology gets updates of new projects. That happened just today when photographer Brenda Biondo sent me a note about her new book, Once Upon A Playground.

Out2PlayNew York City
Out2Play is a New York City not for profit whose mission is to create and improve schoolyard play spaces. Under the leadership of founder Andrea Wenner, the organization has transformed well over 100 schoolyards throughout New York City since 2005.

Paying Homage to Adventure and Free PlayLos Angeles, California
If you’re in LA, or passing through in the next two days, check out Kelly Barrie’s exhibit at LAXART. His photos sing out a catchy song of freedom and play. If you’re like me and LA isn’t in the cards in the immediate future then enjoy Barrie’s photos right here at PlayGroundology.

Playable10 Encouraging New Playground Design Paradigms; - Atlanta, Georgia
If you believe in playgrounds, you’re going to love what’s happening in Atlanta, Georgia and the whole world has been invited to the ball. There’s now an exciting, new place to exchange, promote and recognize excellence and creativity in playground design.

Pop-Up Adventure PlayNew York City
What a winning combination – pop-up, adventure and play. Having been deprived of adventure playgrounds in my own childhood, I am always happy to have the opportunity to point parents in that play direction when something of interest pops up. Click through, pop in and find out a little more about adventure play and playwork.

Taking the fun out of being a kid – The West Virginia RecordWest Virginia, USA
While no one likes to hear about kids getting injured at the playground or elsewhere, it wouldn’t be harmful to take a step back from the preoccupation with extreme safety to see if it really does benefit our kids. More and more people are taking the view that the safety cocoon approach is questionable.

The Great Manhattan Playground AdventureManhattan, NYC
There’s a magical nanny crisscrossing Manhattan of late with Lexi and Annie her two young charges. Sarah Swymner, who has adopted the nom de plume Sarah Poppins, has set out to visit all of Manhattan’s public playgrounds over the course of the summer. The trio of adventurers is already well advanced in its quest – 100 down, 107 to go.

Tour of Otterness’ 42nd Street PlaygroundManhattan, NYC
Playground packs in more fun than the proverbial barrel full of monkeys. Tom Otterness’ anthropomorphic sculpture installation is a space for wonderfalls, a place for children to imagine, to make believe and play.

Various Arctic Nations

Christmas PlaygroundsCanada, United States, Greenland, Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Russia
Photos Only

4 responses to “Index by Country

  1. Have you found anything in the caribbean yet? I wasn’t suprised to see the numbers featured in Canada or USA.

    • Cyrstal, I’ve published some photos from the Caribbean but I don’t recall writing any posts. If you have any ideas I’d love to hear them. I used to live in Barbados for a couple of years, many years ago. Thanks for reading, always wonderful to discover new readers.

      • I didn’t have any ideas in particular in mind. But, I did wonder if there were any similar projects such as the ones you published in the Caribbean. I will certainly keep my eyes open, and give you a heads up.

      • I didn’t have any ideas in particular in mind. But, I did wonder if there were any similar projects such as the ones you published in the Caribbean. I will certainly keep my eyes open, and give you a heads up.

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