Thursday, March 24, 2011

10 feet off the ground, hammer in hand, and an amazing sense of achievement

I could have an entire blog about the schools and parks I saw in Berlin. They were inspiring and really opened my mind to the wide world of play. I have since realized just how different the safety standards are in the EU and the US.

This Adventure Playground in Berlin has it all; animals, soccer field, indoor gathering area, bicycle mechanic shop, art studio, and much more. The piece that I thought was amazing was the fort building area.

Kids rent a numbered platform for two weeks where they can build their own fort. Tools are rented on site. Old nails can be pulled from stacks of old boards and traded in for new nails. This also helps keep the grounds clean and safe(er).

Each fort is connected by a long series of elevated decks. In the summer there are overnight events where you sleep in your fort!

If adventure play like this had been available when I was a kid I would have never left. I think it is sad that the legal state of affairs in our country keeps creative endeavors like this from happening. I consider these calculated risks that older children should be able to take if they choose. There is a learning value, level of brain development, and social interaction here that can not be matched by a classic US playground structure.


  1. Goodness, this is wonderful! I wish there were more spaces like this.

  2. Amazing! So right about the safety standards/concerns! These photos just caused a major flashback to my childhood in Germany. Thank you for sharing this! It definitely made my day. ^_^

  3. This is fantastic. I agree that European playgrounds are so much cooler than they are here in North America. Even the difference between the jungle gyms I played on as a kid and the ones they have now that don't leave anything up to the imagination. Very cool. I hope to experience these types of parks one day with my girls.

  4. Jenny and Melodie- I agree. I want to see more opportunities like this in the US, and in my neighborhood! It is nice to get more people exposed to the ideas and show that it is possible. German children are no less prone to hurting themselves then US children, and they seem to do fine in these environments!

    Janina- what types of things do you remember most from your childhood play in Germany? I wonder how much German play spaces have changed over time. I agree with Melodie that even in my lifetime they seem more sterile here in the US.

    Thanks for commenting.

  5. thanks for posting this post this is so awesome to see... it's a great insight for me. My husband and I want to create a place where children can be children and play care free we could definitively use that too :-) thanks


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