“Don’t play in the dirt! Don’t play in the street! Don’t play with your food!”
Kids of every generation have heard these don’€™ts time and time again. The culmination of all these don’€™ts is a generation of inhibited children who are accustomed to over-structured play. Why would children want to play in the garbage? Because it’€™s fun! The Don’€™t Play Playgrounds provides these restless children with exciting, active places to explore, play, and most importantly, have fun. The driving force behind these playgrounds is to introduce an active new layer to the community through creating a network of parks for children to discover what is typically prohibited in a fun and safe way.
Throughout the sample neighborhood, five pocket playgrounds have been sited in a way that nearly all homes within the community are less than a quarter mile from a park, and each park is no more than a half mile from another park. While giving families easy accessibility to one or two parks, it also encourages exploring the neighborhood to uncover a variety of unique parks.
Each of the five parks is built of four common components – Identification, Education, Exploration and Observation. To give visibility as a community playground, an element Identification in the form of a tall sign is at a prominent location at the perimeter of each park. An Education station is an interactive place to learn about technical, social and sustainable concepts that apply to each park specifically. Unstructured play is supported in the Exploration area -€“ an open area that contains playground elements that correlate to the park’€™s theme. An Observation area is also provided at each park, giving parks and community members a relaxing area to gather and monitor the children’€™s play.