I’ve never given playgrounds much thought, till I started to bring my crawling 8+ month old to the ones around our neighbourhood. A couple of months on, playground visits are now a lot more frequent (daily, if time and weather permit) and more interesting, as he clambers up and down slides and steps, crawls under and around structures and – a favourite activity of his I’m not so hot about – tears up dried leaves.
Here, I’m starting a collection of links to interesting reads on playgrounds and playground design.
There are about 1,850 public playgrounds in Berlin, a city of nearly four million inhabitants, of which about half a million are under 18. Statistically, this is a great ratio, especially compared with other more densely populated European cities. But sheer quantity is not what makes Berlin a playground paradise.
Guided by what most German parents consider a healthy chance for children to mitigate risk in the interest of developing selbstständigkeit, self-sufficiency — or what some American parents might deem a total lack of concern for child safety — playgrounds here are physically challenging and ambitious in design.
This piece was shared by PM Lee on Facebook!
Here’s hoping Singapore gets more interesting playgrounds soon.
An example of a bauspielplatz, also in Berlin!
“…instead of traditional equipment such as swings, slides and monkey bars, the playgrounds could feature natural play elements such as plants, boulders, wood and sand.”