Folium: The World’s Most Unbelievable Playgrounds via RedTri
As a child we play to have fun. We do not really think about what we are doing we just run, skip, jump, climb and on occasion fall and hurt ourselves. Research has shown that playing actually has many advantages. The most obvious is exercise but did you know that when children play, they are problem solving, learning concepts, and learning how to interact with others? There are several playgrounds around the world that are awe-inspiring and really have all those concepts in mind when the architects were designing them.
Travel to Valencia, Spain and what you will find is a giant fiberglass model of Gulliver from Gulliver’s Travels. He is surrounded by sand and the children can make pretend that they are the miniature people from the story. It has all kinds of slides and steps. It not only promotes playing but has a literary reference that allows you to have discussions about the very novel.
If you are more into a futuristic style of play, travel to Wiesbaden Germany. The playground there is built out of a pair of green steel pipes and a climbing net between both of them. It is built into a hillside and overlooks the city giving the playground a nice scenic view. It has a slide, climbing wall, three trampolines and a close-mesh tunnel.
Another futuristic style play area would be found in Madrid Spain. It has a blue and white color scheme keeping more with the natural scenery of the sky. It has very open spaces but allows for shaded areas. Boadilla de monte playground has a notable size game room as well.
Do you have a little one that likes to climb like my son does? Paris France has the most amazing climbing playground. Belleville park which translated means beautiful city is built on a slope. The architect of this playground wanted the youngsters to be challenged. There are different obstacle courses of varying difficulty. The reward for climbing to the top of the obstacle is a giant treehouse to play in. It gives the kids an incentive to make it to the top and it gives them a sense of accomplishment.
Always ahead of the world, in Hakone Japan they have created a woods of net playground. It opened in 2009 for the open air museum’s 40th anniversary. The whole playground is made out of recyclables and is known for it’s unusual traditional materials. It is a giant colorful hanging net. Children can jump on it or roll around. It almost looks like a giant spiderweb with colorful balls dangling from it. Still not impressed yet, well what if I told you that the whole netting playground was hand-croched by one person-Toshiko Horiuchi MacAdam. To protect the netting it is surrounded by a wooden pavillon that looks like giant lincoln logs. It is sometimes hard to know which is the interior from the exterior. MacAdam says that the netting may become worn out with time and the pavillon may one day disappear “but these children will have had a great time and will remember these moments”.
One playground that had an amazing design but would not be a place that I would take my child to play on is Nishi Rokugo or “Tire Park” in Tokyo Japan. While it is really cool to look at because the whole park is made out of used tires, I personally do not feel comfortable with my child playing in a material that I have been doing some reading on that is made out of a lot of chemicals. Research is starting to show that artificial turf that is made out of ground up used tires is causing some illnesses like leukimeia and cancer. Although children would have a blast here because there are dragons, robots, and giants made from tires and the architect was trying to keep recycling the theme, I would just caution people from going there.
There are at least 26 notably amazing playgrounds in the world. Like the climbers and creepers in London at the Kew Royal Botanical Gardens. It looks like a giant garden that kids can play on and make pretend they are insects pollinating the plants. It opened in the summer of 2004 and is designed for 3 – 9 year olds. They even have model flies for the venus fly traps. Start your child in preschool and the educators will tell you that it may look like the children are playing but what we are seeing are young minds learning how to interact, discover, and problem solve. In Switzerland they do not start their children in school till age six because they believe want the youngsters to play and use their imagination. While traveling do not forget to be a kid again and discover one of these amazing play areas.
Kristine Schanzenbach Boudreau