Playground Den-Building and Kids Play DIY

Playscapes friend Tim Gill has just posted about the den-building provisions on the playground of Berwick Fields Primary school in England (Australia, oops!)  which you’ll want to read.   Kids have always built playhouses out of whatever materials they can find around, of course.  But a key to encouraging this behavior, whether in a multi-user playspace or in your own backyard, is to provide a simple pole or a frame to help the constructions stand up.

Den poles and frames are a simple addition to any play space; then just let the children gather their own sticks and branches and build away.

Note that Tim’s post also gives some  insight into the management of dens on a school playground:  “the only rule is that dens have to be demolished at the end of each session. This is to allow more children to take part. Before the rule was introduced, children were starting to get territorial about their cubbies.”

Unlike the more permanent constructs allowed at adventure playgrounds, play dens typically don’t last long.  So they’re ideal for documenting at, a beautiful new site and app well-summarized as an ‘online refrigerator for kids artwork’, (see also a discussion of the diy project at c/net).  Several play  projects have already been posted…I really like the idea of kids being able to document their ephemeral, outdoor play creations in this way!


One Response to “Playground Den-Building and Kids Play DIY”

  1. Tom Bedard said:

    Too bad the constructions have to be demolished after each class. If the constructions stayed, they could be like gifts to the next class to build upon or alter. That would foster some cross-polinations, which is generative by nature.

    May 26, 2012 at 12:01 am

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