Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Loose Parts and Sensory Play

THE CONCEPT: Loose parts add immense play value
I think loose parts are so important in playscapes. Lifting, moving, stacking, throwing, and many other discovery are made through through free play with loose parts. I especially like natural and free form parts. Kodo Kids has designed a line of early childhood products that I can't wait to get my hands on and I bet little hands would 'feel' that same way.

"At Kodo Kids, we believe in learning through play and that toys should encourage self directed exploration and discovery, in addition to being entertaining and a whole lot of fun."

These come in other shapes and sizes.
I also enjoyed the Kodo Kids Blog and this reference to classic early childhood pedagogy. I will have to get my hands on this book.

According to Piaget, "...children learn by encountering problems they feel compelled to solve; experiencing emotions such as puzzlement, curiosity, surprise, and frustration; and engaging in the intellectual and emotional work of overcoming obstacles to solving those compelling problems.” Quoted form the new NAEYC book Ramps & Pathways, a Constructivist Approach to Physics with Young Children, by Rheta DeVries and Christina Sales.

I wonder how well these do in the long run in public settings.

I would love to see a giant outdoor version of this!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Climbing High into A Nest :Creative Elevated Natural Play Structures

I am not sure what this is: a castle, a nest? But that makes it even more intriguing.

I love the giant cat tail forest and elevated nest!
I was recently turned onto KuKuK, a group of German designers that does wonderful play environment design. Their spaces make me want to work harder and push the envelope here in the US. They use a lot of wood logs, crazy wood nests, and netting tubes to keep kids from falling. Their work actually looks pretty safe while being extremely challenging and inviting! Unfortunately the website is in German, but like they say a photo is worth a thousand words.
Here is a different view of the same sight. It looks so organic it could have washed up on the shore all by self!
Beautiful giant swing
 From what I can gather from the website translation they are a group of artists, designers, and architects. Their work is obviously custom and their organization as a design build shop helps them carry the design intent through to construction.

You can climb through the ladder tube into the elevated nest then across the enclosed suspension bridge. I wonder how they attached this to the tree?

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