Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Little Builders

We’ve come a long way from the steel, industrial looking playgrounds of the days of yore. We’ve got bright colors, safety-conscious monkey bars, and a whole variety of jungle gym equipment. And yet, for all our modernization, these classic establishments seem to still lose out time and again to computers, TV, and video games – devices that have tons of entertainment packaged into one neat little box. It’s a shame, too, because we love playgrounds. We all know how important they are for our kids.

But the good news is, there may be hope yet. It seems like playgrounds have decided to take a stab at the “neat little box” business themselves. Meet the Imagination Playground, a playground that is, essentially, a box. This box holds biodegradable blue foam blocks that can be assembled to create any conceivable play structure. Designed by David Rockwell, he hopes that such a distinctly unstructured park will encourage greater levels of creative play and, well, imagination.

So, are playgrounds making a comeback? Can this new sort of box brings kids back to the parks, back to fresh air, free-spiritedness, sharing swings, waiting patiently for the slide, playing tag and chatting with peers? We hope so, because playgrounds have been underrated for way too long.