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Give Children a Place to Explore - Guides for Preschool Playground Design

by Betsy Caesar
March/April 2001
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/give-children-a-place-to-explore-guides-for-preschool-playground-design/5013880/

Have you ever noticed that when children play indoors they need

lots of props to keep them busy: toys, paints, books, etc. . . .

but when you take them outdoors they need very little. Have you

ever asked yourself why? It's because the outdoors is so rich in

sensory experience; the warmth of the sun on a winter day, the

feel of the early spring wind as it caresses your face, the smell

of a flower in the summer, the sound of migrating birds in the

fall, the feeling of the earth beneath your hands. The outdoors

is also rich in opportunity; letting your body do anything it

wants, letting your voice do anything it wants, and just doing

anything you want.


The goal of good playground design is to create a space where

children can explore themselves and their world with as few rules

and as little adult intervention as possible. There's an old

saying about good developmental education which applies

beautifully to playgrounds: "Provide freedom with a fence around

it."

Evaluation of Existing Conditions

If your program is year round you will want to plan for summer

time outdoor activities. If your program is twelve hours a day

you may ...

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