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Win a FREE Imagination Playground!

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April 16, 2014 in Community

by communitymanager

Win a FREE Imagination Playground!

Nominate your child’s school to become an Imagination Playground Host Partner!

Is play an important part of your 
school or organization agenda? 

Contact us and tell us more! Your nominee will qualify for a chance to win a FREE Imagination Playground and on-site Play Associate Training (valued at over $7,500). Simply nominate your child’s school, day care center, your favorite children’s museum (nature, science or discovery center) community center, park or other deserving organization.

It’s easy to nominate, just visit:
www.scholastic.com/imaginationplayground

Enter as often as you like.

Five FREE Imagination Playgrounds and
Play Associate Training will be awarded by May 9, 2014.

when did the first municipal playground open in the United States?

Did you know that the very first municipal playground in the United States opened almost a century ago, in October 1903.

Located in the Lower East Side’s Seward Park in New York City, it is still open today. This playground was built with fences, gymnastic tools, cinder surfacing and children’s play equipment. A large running track encircled the play area. This park became a notable template for future playground architecture.

You can learn more about the history of Seward Park playground on NYC Parks’ website.

Seward Park Playground in New York City

help bring Imagination Playground to your school community with a KaBOOM! grant opportunity

Are you a school in the US who is looking into grants as a way to bring Imagination Playground to your students? KaBOOM! is offering funding opportunities for four communities, check out the details below for more information. Deadline is June 7, so apply soon!

DC Prep 3_Credit KaBOOM!

Would the kids at your school love to have an Imagination Playground? KaBOOM! is launching a national program where schools may apply to be considered for Imagination Playground equipment for their school community. Twelve schools will be selected as finalists and proceed to the national level, where consumers will vote to select the top four schools.

For children, play is a way to develop key skills and strengths, build relationships, better understand their environments, and – most importantly – have fun! We know that kids need to play every day because active play is critical to a child’s physical, emotional, and cognitive development. So, KaBOOM!, a national non-profit dedicated to saving play, is working to give more kids the childhood they deserve by working to increase play opportunities for young children.

We have witnessed the power of Imagination Playground to engage kids in creative play that is physically challenging and collaborative, fulfilling the needs of the whole child.

At Skyland Elementary School in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Principal Cheryl Fondren notes that Imagination Playground has proven to be a great equalizer. She has observed her children interacting, negotiating, and problem-solving across all divides. She’s also seen that the equipment encourages socialization and appeals to the sensory needs of the children with autism and developmental delays.

Skyland ES 3_Credit KaBOOM!

Skyland ES 1_Credit KaBOOM!

Skyland ES 2_Credit KaBOOM!

At DC Prep in Washington, D.C., educators use Imagination Playground for both recess and physical education sessions. Principal Nicole Bryan noted that, “Play happened naturally without teachers getting involved.” Additionally, “because the blocks are so big, the activity was a lot more physical than I expected, and allowed kids to expend lots of energy while expressing their creativity.”

DC Prep 1_Credit KaBOOM!
DC prep 2_Credit KaBOOM!

Just imagine what Imagination Playground could do for the kids at your school.

Help bring Imagination Playground to your school community by applying for this unique opportunity. Act fast – the application period closes on June 7!

For more information about other KaBOOM! grant opportunities, please visit kaboom.org/grants.

imagination playground at betsy head park


We’re excited to announce that  the second site-specific Imagination Playground park will arrive in 2015! NYC Parks and Rockwell Group joined neighborhood children to unveil the design of the new playground in Brooklyn. At the event, a classic set of blocks was donated to the Brownsville Recreation Center to encourage free play and creativity prior to the opening.

The project will reconstruct part of Betsy Head Park, transforming the existing rectilinear, asphalt-covered site into a grassy park with meandering paths and play areas for both children and adults alike. Inspired by tree houses, the park will include a multi-level space with water, sand, and the blue blocks surrounded by a long, curving play ramp that weaves through the trees and is bridged by permanent play equipment; renovated basketball and handball courts; and an exercise area for adults.

The playground is anticipated to begin its construction in the spring of 2014 and open in the spring of 2015.

Check out the buzz:

While this may sound like the standard procedure for a new neighborhood recreation area, the event was anything but typical. The Rockwell Group showcased its model for a revolutionary vision in playground design: one that encourages child-directed, unstructured free play. And from the sounds of loud, excited cheers in the front row, we think the kids loved it! -Architizer

 New Imagination Playground to Open at Betsy Head Park, TimeOut New York Kids

Design for tree house-inspired ‘Imagination Playground’ unveiled for Brownsville, NY Post

 

March2Work for safer routes to playspaces

 

From The Child in the City of Play lectures at MoMA  last year to our recent involvement with Louisiana Children’s Museum and Places to Play in New Orleans,  Imagination Playground has been thinking a lot about how environments can impact children’s growth and learning through play.

Early in the month Alex Smith at Playgroundology  tipped us off to a fantastic initiative called March2Work  that has been “campaigning for safer routes to playspaces.”

Courtesy of March2Work.net

Chris Gregory during March2Work, images courtesy of March2Work.net

The brainchild of Chris Gregory, March2Work came about through observations he noted  while on daily bicycle commutes through his town in the Isle of Man. As in many communities across the globe, the rise of busy dangerous roads had taken a toll on the levels of pedestrian and cyclist activity, especially for younger generations trying to get to school and play spaces.

Although often a common topic of discussion, Chris came up with a refreshingly innovative approach to raise awareness. Choosing to “travel to work throughout March using different forms of transport based on childhood games and activities,” Chris has been seen doing everything from skateboarding and walking on stilts to hoola-hooping and pretending to be an airplane. The best part? Anyone can join! He is often seen actively participating in each day’s unique travels with local school children, instilling the value of safe, outdoor play.

March2Work Compilation – courtesy of www.march2work.net

Check out Chris’ chronicles of his daily adventures via video here: www.march2work.net/Videos and his twitter updates here: twitter.com/chrisplayiom

Even though March 22 marks the official March2Work day (and his final day of creative commutes), we know his “campaigning to give children of the Isle of man the freedom to play out” will certainly touch communities worldwide as they rethink the accessibility of their towns.

Blocks at Their Best

The Imagination Playground community thrives on first hand experiences in play and learning. We love to receive stories & pictures, hearing the latest on what your children have been up to with the blocks and loose parts!

What types of structures have you witnessed being built lately? Do your kids have a particular block shape or two that are their favorites? Are you perhaps a teacher or educator and have been using Imagination Playground as a learning tool in the classroom?

Share your thoughts & let us know your story via contactus@imaginationplayground.com, Facebook/Twitter/Instagram or in the comments below.

Also stay tuned as we will continue to bring helpful tips, stories, guest blog spots, and even a contest (or two!) to enhance your children’s  block play experience & get the most out of your Imagination Playground.