Monday, 7 July 2008

The door to imagination

Imagination, ingenuity and play are key aspects of education, especially for young children. All too often these aspects are ignored when designing outdoor learning / play spaces. I found a great example yesterday.
Visiting a site I was really pleased to find a small but really well landscaped corner complete with a 'distressed' door with "Imagine" written on it. The hanging door, all by itself, leading to nowhere, is simply there as a children's imaginative play corner.

My daughters, (see above), promptly went to it and the eldest of the two immediately started playing and making up a story about the door..... and what happened behind it. Whilst my youngest daughter is a little young she also joined in playing together happily with a story about the door and the different things behind it!. It was great to see - they could have stayed for ages. As we moved on more children were headed for it - rather like a magnet attracting them.
Equally, of course, as a stimulus for drama, creative writing, poetry, art etc, it is just perfect!
The designer of this play area clearly put children first, and trusted them. They did not specify how it had to be used or what type of story or play was to be imagined- they just let them get on with it. A great and really successful example.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

this is so true - well designed outside spaces can be brilliant areas for learning.

A good post