Friday, August 20, 2010

Adventure Playground

After having the opportunity to visit Tinkering School I was clearly prepped for taking my daughters to Adventure Playground in Berkeley. We had a fabulous afternoon and I was astounded by this place. It's been around for more than 30 years, nearly my entire life.
I didn't expect a traditional playground but I didn't have any idea what it would be. The space is full of structures kids have created and added to. My daughters found pieces of trash and traded them in for paint. Then they got a saw and we cut a small piece of wood that looked like a flag. They then got a hammer and nails to attach it to one of the structures. They left their mark!

The playground provided these sticks with magnets hanging from them for kids to search the space for loose nails. Brilliant.

At one point in the midst of our exploring, creating, and playing four kids worked together to bring over this jungle gym. I have no idea where it was before they moved it but they brought it to a big open space. The cooperation was impressive to watch.

My younger daughter is 3 1/2. She is pretty independent and immediately began exploring today. Her older sister will be seven in a couple of weeks and she is more hesitant. She wanted to know where I was all the time. However, she climbed over the entire netting, rode the zip wire numerous times and tackled the tire wall again and again. She was much more of a risk taker in this environment than she normally is. I wish we could return next week and the week after. I think it was really good for her.

The question now is how do I take what I saw here and at Tinkering School and incorporate it into my classroom? I'm not sure yet but it feels very important to me, especially after watching my daughter.

1 comment:

Mamie said...

I LOVE and MISS this place! I lived in Berkeley for many years and was a nanny, and then a K - 2 teacher... the Adventure Playground was a weekly visit in my nanny-ing days, and then a yearly field trip destination when I started teaching. The cooperation, imagination, and creative thinking that are evident in what the kids do is just incredible! :)