This month, Lonneberga and Trollskogen took a trip to Governor’s Island adventure playground! Gov Island’s Play:groundNYC encourages risk-taking, experimentation and freedom through self directed play. Adults are encouraged to sit back and observe while young people to take the lead in their own explorations. We were so excited to visit a playscape with a mission so aligned with our own. They have loose materials available for jumping, climbing, sawing, building and destroying. While the materials available may not seem child-accessible, our children had no hesitations playing the piano, peddling on an old exercise bike or balancing on seesaw suspended above a big puddle. Interacting with household items in a new way brought so much joy and energy to the children. Jumping on the mattress was one of the most popular activities within the adventure playground, while others enjoying making their own structures from all the available tools.
The first adventure playground was the creation of Danish landscape architect C.T. Sørenson. His vision of ‘waste material playgrounds in large areas where children would be able to play with old cars, boxes, and timber’ succeeded in 1940s’ Denmark, and has spread around the world since. The materials available at Play:groundNYC captivated the attention of our four through six year olds for two hours, and most agreed they would have liked to stay for much longer. Towards the end of our visit, some children discovered that there was a ladder they could use to jump from the top of a fort onto a mattress! Some were tentative about the idea of jumping from such a height, but by the end of the day were eager to go around and around. Our summer forest program will be visiting Play:groundNYC again during our summer session, and we highly recommend visiting during their free play hours on weekends from 12-4.