What are your grounds for play?

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Alright so school just let out for me. I had my last final yesterday and I have to say that I am pretty excited for a bit of a break.

A break from school anyway.

I have a lot planned for the extra time on my hands. Perhaps maybe more blogging :). But also, costume constructing, getting more pieces up for sale on etsy. I am working on 2 projects right now. One (as mentioned before) is for the Post Modern Undead silent auction. The other is for a friends soap company, My-Oh-My Soapsd. I took the photographers for his site and am beginning to work on some soap label designs for him as well.

This is what my silent auction progress looks like:

Don't Eat the Red Snow

Another thing on my mind yesterday, was the idea of being able to design playground equipment. Random, I know. But if you have read my bio, you would know what I am a Youth and Community Studies major. I was studying for my final yesterday for a class entitled Play in Childhood Development. Yes. A class about nothing but PLAY. (That’s what I’m talking about 😉 ) It has helped me realize just how vital play is, no matter what shape or form you choose to do it. Dancing, singing, drawing, painting, sports, collecting things, researching things, eating things. ANYTHING.

So on that note, the topic of playground and toy safety came up. It was almost like an epiphany. WHAT A GREAT IDEA?! I thought to myself…to be able to design and draw (which I love to do, if you haven’t noticed) something that is for the physical and mental benefits of children (drawing from my interest in kinesiology and youth studies). Its like the best of all worlds…maybe.

There are a lot of things that go into creating a proper and safe play environment. You have to consider certain things like age of the children playing, the materials used to build, the environment in that area. Is it for a park or for a more closed in areas, like a school? Will there be adults to watch over? What about children with disabilities? Safety hazard guidelines must also be met as well.

On top of ALL that, there is also the necessary component of making the environment functional, comfortable and enjoyable. The use of space should be considered and there should also be the addition of natural features such as food, flower and insect gardens and possible pet and water facilities. Of course, all depending on what you are trying to do, the area, etc. There is also the discussion of transforming conventional/tame styled playground into a “world of wonder”; one that would add a magical essence and feeling of adventure and mystery. Almost like a fairy tell story book. 🙂

The process involves a lot of people. All of which are equally important. Architects, parents, teachers, child development specialists, care takers, board officials, etc. It is no easy process. But when it is all over and done with, you have created something wonderful that can help enhance a childs health and imagination both at the same time. Ahhhhhh. To wonder…

Evergreen Park. Queens, NY. (taken from Playgrounds in Parks)

Here I have included some links to some playground history, playground sources and various associations that encourage play. If you find any other similar sites, Id really like to hear about them 🙂 :

Some History:

“Not only is a playground a place where a child may fly down a slide, soar on a swing, scale heights on a play structure, or be cooled by a spray shower, but it is also a critical part of a child’s emotional education, where he or she discovers perhaps for the first time the challenges of the world outside the home.”                                                                Playgrounds in Parks: New York City Department of Parks and Recreation

Interesting playgrounds:

Top 10 Most Imaginative Playgrounds Around the World

10 unusual playgrounds from around the world

Pro Play associations and more sources:

“The child shall have full opportunity for play and recreation which should be directed to the same purposes as education; society and the public authorities shall endeavor to promote the enjoyment of this right;”                         Promoting the Child’s Right to Play(IPAUSA)–affiliate of IPAWorld

There is a lot that goes into creating such intriguing play spaces for children and I don’t believe I could ever be able to get that involved in the process without substantial schooling, but one could image, right?
Other than drifting off into play land, my mind is also reflecting on some events I have just attended in the past couple of days and costume accessories I wish to work on. The following posts should include details about those inspirations, so make sure and check back (or subscribe) if you are interested in that sort of thing. 🙂
How do you play? I wanna know!
<3, JLT
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