We are helping to build a community – including parents, educators, caregivers, researchers, and leaders — united by a belief in the importance of creative free play to help our children grow up happy and healthy.
About the Designer
Imagination Playground was conceived and designed by award-winning architect David Rockwell, who was inspired by watching his own children play. The work of his firm, Rockwell Group, has been internationally recognized for its broad array of projects, from restaurants to stage sets, hotels to historic restorations, art programming to interactive design. For more information about David Rockwell, visit www.rockwellgroup.com
A Blueprint for a New Playground
In an age of childhood obesity and children tethered to electronic consoles, playgrounds have rarely been more important. In an age of constrained government budgets, playgrounds have rarely been a harder sell. Fortunately, the cost of play doesn’t have to be prohibitive.
In creating the Imagination Playground — a playground with lots of loose parts for children to create their own play spaces — Rockwell realized that many of the elements with the greatest value to children were inexpensive and portable. Although traditional playgrounds can easily cost in the millions to build, portable imagination playgrounds can be put together for less than $10,000.
See David Rockwell’s full New York Times Op-Ed, “Blueprint for a New Playground”.
The Benefits of Play for Building Life Skills
We often think of play as simply something fun and entertaining, but it is far more than that. Play is an extremely powerful force on child development – helping children learn important life skills such as problem-solving, negotiation and communication, creative and critical thinking, empathy, and emotional regulation. Let’s explore some of these ways that play can help build the foundation for these essential life skills.
Reaching Your Community Through Loose-Parts Play
Even before the popularization of the toy industry, children have always found ways to play. Sticks, rocks, and pinecones became the fuel for imaginations to run wild. While toys have certainly evolved, the core need to play has stayed the same.
Building On…Emotional Regulation
It seems like every time I refresh my inbox there is a new email popping in with a report on why we need to do more of “this” or less of “that” to help our children developmentally.