|Re: Kids play area & structure||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Lynn Nadeau (welcomeolympus.net)|
|Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2001 13:34:27 -0700 (MST)|
I was a preschool teacher for 8 years, and have given some input to our CH landscape committee for things to include in the patio area near our kid room. (This in addition to planning a full-scale swingset in the commons field on the other side of the CH.) We have some people who want to minimize the "preschool" look of the patio, but I pointed out that there are ways to have kid-friendly features that overlap with non-kid uses. Some examples: bordering areas with curbs that invite balance-walking. Or a row (tight up together) of tree-stump posts of varying heights, with flat tops, that allow sitting, but also make an interesting kid walk. Benches. Hard surfaces that are good for riding trikes, pulling wagons. A small covered sandbox. A sculpture that invites sitting and climbing: a local grade school has a ten-foot long cougar that is often sat upon and against. A grassy berm that can be rolled down. (Or Charlie-Brown sledding in snowy climes?) I'm hoping to also get approval for a tower-like wooden play structure, such as is often part of a larger set up, though we'll have to see what the required "fall zone" is, and if it can be placed where the gravel/chips/whatever of the fall zone can be contained reasonably. If you have a lot of kids, a WATER source is wonderful, for sand play and such. At a school where I worked, we had also an outdoor art area- basically a fence that had been arranged with clips to hold pieces of cardboard for painting. Other common playground items: half-buried tractor tire. Pipe or tube to speak into and be heard at the other end. Steering wheel affixed to a post. A platform that can be a "stage" or be jumped off, or provide a place to sit. Outdoor table (often climbed on, in fact). On preschool playgrounds, "adventure materials" for re-arranging are highly successful, such as dairy crates, tires (with holes drilled to avoid water pooling and stagnating), planks, sheets. However, such materials are only appropriate where there is enough supervision and rule-minding to keep such play safe (not stacking up tires with a kid inside, not climbing on high piles of dairy crates). No question that kids love it; each group needs to think how to ensure safety. Lynn Nadeau, RoseWind Cohousing
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