Last year the government said it wanted 3500 more children to have outside places to play in by 2011, and thus a new playground building movement was set in motion. In March this year another £1.5 million was made available to update and upgrade existing adventure playgrounds through Play England.
What would your ideal playground look like? Here are a few suggestions to get you going.
The Portable Pixel Playground (including the Glowing Pathfinder Bugs, above) is a sandpit-meets-technology chance to dabble with traditional and whizz bang gimmicky stuff. Part adventure playground, part computer game, it's currently touring the UK.You'll find it in Manchester on August 8th, and Carnforth on August 29th before continuing its tour of the North West of England over the next two years.
Forest Schools are a tradition of outdoor spaces started in Denmark. These are rapidly influencing the redesign of school grounds and classrooms across the country, particularly at nursery, reception and infant stages. They focus on using the outdoors as a resource and environment which helps children become happier, more tolerant and less distracted.
In complete contrast check out this round up of children's futuristic play spaces from The Cool Hunter. Featuring a range of designs bringing together a world that looks like a cross between IKEA and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, with a healthy dose of Dr Seuss thrown in for good measure. Fun fun fun, and stylish to boot.
Or maybe the likes of Eureka! in Halifax, and Discover in Stratford, hold the key to our future playgrounds. Adventures, shapes and characters brought to life by children's interventions. These centres, if you haven't visited them, are somewhere between being let loose in a theatre set, finding yourself inside Gulliver's Travels, and leaping your way through a special effects storeroom.
So is the future new technology, or back to natural basics, and which would you prefer?
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