When people reminisce about summertime as a kid, they may envision family outings to the beach, trips to amusement parks or the unforgettable melody of the neighborhood ice cream truck. Local non-profit organization play:ground is looking to add to that list with their upcoming adventure playground concept this summer on Governors Island. This will not be your traditional playground, however. Adventure playgrounds swap out quintessential fixtures like swings, slides and monkey bars and replace them with materials like cardboard boxes, pvc pipe and duct tape. Taken at face value, this may sound less than ideal for entertaining young children, but there is more than meets the eye to this concept.
The purpose of an adventure playground is to encourage kids to flex their cognitive muscles by using commonly found materials like nets, rope and wood along with tools to create their own play space. Governor’s Island is setting aside 5000 square feet this summer for kids to do just that. Giving children the opportunity to be the architects of their own playground not only puts their problem-solving skills and ingenuity to work, but it also provides them with the satisfaction of seeing their own concepts materialize.
Another unorthodox method of the adventure playground culture finds parents sitting on the sidelines as they are strongly encouraged not to intervene with the process. However, certified “playworkers” will be on hand to watch over the process with barely any interference at all.
The playground will be open to children ages 7-13, and promises to be an experience they will never forget.
-by James Baginski