Playground of Hard Knocks


| 12/4/2007 4:08:30 PM


Tags: playground, design, railless, jungle gym, slide, hurt, children, City and Country School,

In “Design Solutions” in the September-October issue of Good, Tucker Viemeister praises the progressive City and Country School of New York City for having a playground designed to hurt children. 

Well, not quite, but the schoolyard, which features a railless jungle gym and slide among its playground equipment, is meant to teach kids that life is full of hard knocks, and if you’re not careful you’ll get a scraped knee. Viemeister writes, “To grow, we need to take chances. Progress is littered with mistakes and accidents.”

The school’s founder, Caroline Pratt, organized the school in 1914 under the belief that kids learn by engaging in open-ended problem-solving in which they have a real investment in the outcome. Now, me, I always thought it was the kiss that made the boo-boo worth it. —Jason Ericson

Jason Ericson_4
12/14/2007 2:18:26 PM

Check out this related article in the New York Times about schools that are softening the hard knocks of recess: "School Recess Gets Gentler, and the Adults Are Dismayed" by Alison Leigh Cowan, Dec. 14th, 2007 http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/14/education/14recess.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1 http://utne.com