Playscapes Correspondents are part roving reporters, part playground sleuths: seeking out the best play spaces, play ideas, and play people around the world to share here. Join us?

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I'm Sarah: Co-editor of Playscapes, Landscape + Playground Designer, Small Business Owner, Amateur Woodworker, and Mom to 4 Year Old Playground Expert.

Parisite DIY Skatepark, Crowdfunded in New Orleans, USA

Adventure Playground North Wales photo circa 2014  via: Atlantic Monthly http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/03/hey-parents-leave-those-kids-alone/358631/

Adventure Playground North Wales photo circa 2014
via: Atlantic Monthly http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/03/hey-parents-leave-those-kids-alone/358631/

There is a tendency, among play advocates in the US, to romanticize the adventure playgrounds of Europe and Japan. Adventure playgrounds are sometimes described as the purest expression of self-directed play. They are a place where kids actively create their own play AND space and are empowered (under the watchful eye of a playworker) to take risks that are off-limits in other settings.

There is an equally strong tendency to write off the possibility of Adventure Playgrounds in the US. We tried them in the 70's and they didn't stick outside a few significant but isolated exceptions. They will never work in our litigious culture.

Is there a culturally appropriate 'American' version of the adventure playground? What does it look like? How does it function? Who builds it? Maintains it? Uses it? What space does it occupy (culturally and physically)?

I was struck when I read references to Lady Allen Hurtwood and adventure playgrounds in the description of Parisite Skate Park in New Orleans. I am not saying the two are synonymous but take a look at the kickstater video and let me know what you think. While you are at it contribute to their crowd funded playscape if you can! One day left, help them go big!

St. John’s Wood Adventure Playground, London c. 1968 via: http://www.thearchitectureofearlychildhood.com/2012/01/post-war-adventure-or-junk-playgrounds.html

St. John’s Wood Adventure Playground, London c. 1968 via: http://www.thearchitectureofearlychildhood.com/2012/01/post-war-adventure-or-junk-playgrounds.html

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