We believe that the most exciting and creative designs are realized when stakeholders are actively engaged in the design process and contribute to a collective vision.
There are many exciting features and play components that can be incorporated into a natural playscape. While each feature offers high play value and learning opportunities in one or more areas of child development, some may be better suited to your build site. Each feature also has a different cost impact so it is important to prioritize and select wisely.
We recommend holding a stakeholder meeting at the beginning of your project. This first meeting will allow stakeholders to articulate all aspects of the playground vision – ideas, hopes, intentions, and learning objectives. Earthartist will facilitate discussions to clarify the key requirements for your project and then present suggestions for design features and options that meet these requirements and are feasible for your site. Based on the ideas generated in this collaborative and informative discussion, you will have the opportunity to prioritize and select the optimal combination of equipment and construction features that will provide the highest play and educational value for your playground.
Ways of Seeing Exercise
Explore the space through Feelings, Activities, or by the Senses:
Feelings – engaging emotion and imagination
- Favorite places on the schoolyard and the places to avoid
- Social activities and best places to meet and hang out with friends (why)
- Places where I feel like I belong – “our” spaces
- Places to escape to (forts – shelters and hideouts)
- Best stories from the playground
Activities – involvement of the body
- Sports – teams and group games with rules
- Other games (not sports) tag, capture the flag…
- Drama – places to act silly, pretend – entertain or sing
- Places to be still or quiet
Sense of Place – a focus on the natural, environmental world
- Shadows, shade and sun on the playground
- Forbidden, dangerous or unpleasant places
- Sources of water – wet places – dry places
- Sounds – quiet places – noisy places
- Warm and cold places (summer and winter)