Natural Playground Inspiration from Learning through Landscapes

Two lengthy, but excellent videos from SchoolGrounds UK, a part of UK charity Learning through Landscapes, which promotes outdoor learning and play. The first highlights natural play spaces at primary schools in Scotland, and is one of the best overall presentations of natural play principals I’ve seen anywhere.

The sites feature many classic natural play elements with stumps and stones and landforms, but note particularly the fun the kids are having with the pile of straw mulch…an easy addition to any play space, and the simple barrel and pipe features for water and sand play seen at 1:57 and 4:49 and 12:20. And of course that all-important sandpit, the original playground feature, and still one of the best.

The second is an overview of the amazing playgrounds at schools in Berlin…soak in their innovation, their tolerance for fall heights, hidden spaces, and appropriate risk in general.  Note particularly the use of natural drainage for water play (2:37) so that the playground is actually MORE fun in the rain, instead of being rained out! More about Berlin playscapes later this week.

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