Links | Playgrounds

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.

  1. What makes Berlin a playground paradise

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.

2. What happens when children build their own three-storey playgrounds?

An example of a bauspielplatz, also in Berlin!

3. City of Calgary developing “natural playgrounds” to encourage self-directed outdoor play 

“…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.”

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