Last Wednesday, during our afternoon faculty meetings, Lower School teachers developed some guiding principles for refurbishing the outdoor playscapes that will be open for business next September:
- Our outdoor playscapes should reflect our Lower School values and support the development of the whole child—their physical, social, emotional selves—fostering joy, collaboration, creativity, imagination, problem solving, and safe risktaking.
- Our playscapes should aim to be as flexible as the indoor spaces have been designed to be, so that as our needs and programs evolve—and the ideas of the children grow the possibilities—our spaces can evolve along with them.
- The opportunities for play should be multifaceted, providing children with the freedom to be playful and to move and explore in wide and varied ways: climbing, swinging, sliding, hanging, sledding, digging, running, investigating, creating, building, designing…
- Our playscapes should use natural materials and encourage connection and good stewardship of the natural world and the environment.
The faculty then participated in a design challenge. Each pair of teachers was given a bag of six items and asked to :
- Design something that is representative of our playscape planning guiding principles.
- Use at least three items in the bag.
- Complete the challenge in 15 minutes.
Moving forward, the Lower School faculty plans to visit outdoor play spaces in the area to further inform our process. Later in the spring, students will also be involved in the re-visioning and planning for the playground areas surrounding our new building.
Now it’s your turn! Do you have ideas that you would like considered? Have you seen a playground that you think is exemplary that you think should be a model for the Waynflete playscapes? Have you imagined a playground element or structure that your child would love? Share your thoughts now!