Innovative Play Structures Research Project August 2001 Page 57 This playground

Innovative play structures research project august

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Innovative Play Structures Research Project August, 2001 Page 57
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This playground allows very young children to learn independence and cooperation without tantrums or arguments over turf or toys. By combining balanced elements of risk and safety appropriate to this age group, this playground helps infants to figure things out for themselves at this early stage of their lives. This play environment places children in harmony with their own developmental processes. The 4-H Children’s Garden - Michigan State University The 4-H Children’s Garden, dedicated in 1993, has proven an unprecedented success attracting over 10,000 children and adults to play within its various environments. The success of the playground points to the fact that 3 to 6 year olds, the driving force behind the design, are yearning for alternative playgrounds different from the standard play structure plopped into the middle of a wasteland. The children told organizer Jane Taylor that what they needed was freedom to touch and interact with water, soil, vegetation and each other with no “Do Not Touch” signs. The playground is a celebration of nature and human interaction. A visitor enters the playground through a Sunburst Plaza flanked by giant, climbable topiary bears. Other special places within the playground include Peter Rabbit’s Garden, where scented herbs marked with “Please Touch” signs grow beside a fence post with a little blue jacket. In another area, a 4 foot tall Alice in Wonderland hedge maze leads to a brick walled secret garden. The Dinosaur Garden contains climbing structures and ancient flora, such as ginkgo and ferns. The garden is peppered with unique play equipment and sitting areas. This playground services young children’s needs to be both active and passive, inquisitive and safe, challenged and rewarded. Innovative Play Structures Research Project August, 2001 Page 58
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White Hutchison Leisure Learning Group The White Hutchison Leisure Learning Group (WHLLG), a design and implementation firm from Kansas City, has become a leader in children’s play areas and adventure playgrounds for all ages. They have created numerous age and activity specific playgrounds for all ages such as the Centre for Children's Services (Illinois), Children’s Developmental Institute (Chicago), Early Childhood Centre (Kansas), and Bamboola (California), throughout the United States. Examples and photos of WHLLG’s numerous projects in this area can be viewed at www .whitehutchinson.com . Age & Activity Related to Manitoba Playgrounds Although we have numerous playgrounds in parks, schools, community and daycare centres in Manitoba, the diversity of play activities in each location is gravely lacking. If one compares a typical daycare playground with a high school playground in Winnipeg for example, the only differences in the play environment are the amount of space given to the playground and the scale of standard play equipment.
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