Saturday, 12 December 2015

Why adults have to stop trying so darn hard to control how children play - The Washington Post

Why adults have to stop trying so darn hard to control how children play - The Washington Post

"You can’t role-play empathy! Or lecture children to death on how important it is to include other children. Children need to learn these things through practice. LOTS of it! This is best done through daily play experiences with other children – especially outdoors, where children can roam, explore, and play away from the adult world."

Friday, 27 November 2015

Costly playgrounds boring kids: UBC | Vancouver 24 hrs

Costly playgrounds boring kids: UBC | Vancouver 24 hrs

Love this article and study, again from Canada, into activity levels derived from child directed play and the 7 C's that should be inherent in each playspace, i.e. character, context, connectivity, change, chance, clarity, and challenge.

I particularly like the diagrams which provide conclusive examples of how current licensing laws under calculate the area that children require to play. Coincidentally child space calculations in Australia are the same as those in BC i.e. 7m2.

The article can be read from the hyperlink above and the full study, which is bloody good reading, can be found here

Friday, 23 October 2015

The biggest risk is keeping kids indoors : TreeHugger

The biggest risk is keeping kids indoors : TreeHugger

Great article with a link to current canadian research. Access the full article from the hyperlink above.

“Access to active play in nature and outdoors—with its risks— is essential for healthy child development. We recommend increasing children’s opportunities for self-directed play outdoors in all settings—at home, at school, in child care, the community and nature.”

Activity statement can be accessed through article.


: A diverse, cross-sectorial group of partners, stakeholders and researchers, collaborated to develop an evidence-informed Position Statement on active outdoor play for children aged 3–12 years. The Position Statement was created in response to practitioner, academic, legal, insurance and public debate, dialogue and disagreement on the relative benefits and harms of active (including risky) outdoor play.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Photos of the completed The Green Elephant Early Learning Centre

                                     The Green Elephant Early Learning Centre,
                                         Rosebery, Sydney New South Wales, 
                                                      Construction: J M Landscapes

It was a total pleasure working with Greg And Effie to create a design for this purpose built centre. It makes a great difference to have owners and architects who are both knowledgeable and enthusiastic to embrace the benefits of natural play environments. I have previously discussed the emergence in Sydney of centres such as this in my post Childcare playspace design response to population density changes. The Green Elephant Early Learning Centre is an outstanding example of a project where consideration was given to the use of the space prior to the build rather than attempting to retrofit an unsuitable space after the design.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Nature Table

Just putting the finishing touches to a nature table, then off to its new home. The table is made from reclaimed wood and the critters are firmly locked in place with perspex and then sealed against the elements. The centipede has been placed in natural hollow in the wood and then covered with perspex to rectify the levels and stop busy little fingers from taking it home. 

Thursday, 17 September 2015



Quite impressed by these architects and the concepts they've employed in the design.

"The vision for the Smart School project is to create a new type of school – a “School Park” – that unites architecture and landscape into a unique learning environment and gathering point for the local community. The design of the project is based on a both unifying and expanding concept that bridges between school complex, nature and modern society in the form a diverse, including and activating learning environment. The complex is organised as a permeable ring of buildings, which contain the main functions and are grouped around a central outdoor space. Each building and function expands towards the centre in the form of directly related outdoor area and together these areas form a diverse arena for experiential learning and pedagogical synergies. The very active and social spaces of this central campus are contrasted by a calmer and contemplative landscape of natural and agricultural areas outside of the ring, which allow the school to be partially self-sufficient and are included in teaching activities.

The buildings are connected by a large roof surface with distinctive eaves, which gives the complex a recognisable identity and creates a series of roofed outdoor areas between the offset volumes. These zones dissolve the boundary between the indoor and outdoor spaces by creating a diverse transitional zone for learning and physical activities, play, social interaction and relaxation. Special emphasis is put on the spaces in between the buildings. They are programmed for a double purpose in order to utilise their potential as both access points and links between different functions. These roofed common spaces combine the elements of intimacy and contextualisation that tie the wider complex of school buildings, the central campus and the landscape together."

Friday, 11 September 2015

Sneak peak tour of The Green Elephant Early Learning Centre

Was privileged to get a sneak peak tour of The Green Elephant Early Learning Centre today. Should be finished soon. Looking forward to sharing photos of the completed project with you