Monday, August 12, 2013

Adventure Playground

Remember when we were kids and we could go outside, play with whatever we found, get messy, do things maybe not so safe, and we had a great time doing it? There's a place that still holds this a sacred rite of passage for kids. Berkeley's Adventure Playground

Each child has to do a small chore - find nails or scrap, pick up trash, locate nail points sticking out of wood.  Then they get access to tools for the rest of the day.  Tools include: C-clamps, saws. hammers (3 nails at a time), paint, rasps, magnets, and probably some other things I didn't notice. 

What do they get to do?  Whatever they want.  Rules are: no painting on signs. Must wear shoes. Have fun. That's it. They make play structures every week, based on materials they have on-hand.

They then disassemble, with the assistance of kids, a structure every week and build another one.  How friggin' fun is that?!?  

My absolute favorite thing about this place is how much of a "Yes" place this is.

"Mom, can I saw this board?"
"Mom, can I paint this?"
"Mom, can I hammer this?"
"Darling, the universe will be happier if you do." 

Did I mention it's absolutely free?

Glad to have remembered this awesome place. It goes back to weekend-only hours after this week, but must remember it for those times when we all need to just pound some nails randomly into wood. 


Brian said...

Not positive that these are related, but interesting history:

"In post war London the landscape architect and children’s rights campaigner Lady Allen of Hurtwood introduced and popularised the concept of the ’junk playground’ - where the equipment was constructed from the recycled junk and rubble left over from the Blitz. The name was changed to ‘Adventure Playground’ in 1953 with the creation of the National Playing Fields Association which organized and built parks across the country."

Linnea Westerlind said...

This looks soooo awesome! We'll have to go with you guys next time we're down.

Christie said...

Awesome! How far away are you guys again?