Early Edible Schoolyards and Loose Parts Play

I don’t talk much about the Edible Schoolyard movement on the blog, thought it has obvious and strong overlaps with the Natural Playground movement (yes, there is definitely enough momentum in North America to declare it a movement, even while acknowledging that it is old news to most of Europe).  Many schools who reshape their play areas to include natural elements also include an area for cultivation of food,  similarly to these 1935 schoolyard photos from the Polytechnic Elementary School in Pasadena, California, via the online collections of the Huntington Library.  Are they working or playing?

The Elementary School also had a dedicated play space…note particularly the large wooden boxes (some appear to be hollow?)  the children are playing with in the foreground.  Large blocks are still one of the best solutions for loose parts play (see also this previous post on loose parts).


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