“The Power of Play” is a recent episode of the CBC documentary production “The Nature of Things” with David Suzuki. It’s a powerful examination of the significance of play for child development and human mental health. The episode features a number of researchers, including Mariana Brussoni and Ellen Sandseter, well known advocates of risky play.
The documentary can be viewed in Canada through this link: https://www.cbc.ca/natureofthings/episodes/the-power-of-play
Likewise, Earthscape designers use the principles championed by these researchers in our playground designs. Based both on the research and from our observations, we find that variation and unpredictability are important to include in play. This is because they teach children adaptation, flexibility, and decision-making during play. In short, these are all valuable skills that children will carry into adulthood.
We were thrilled to note that the episode includes several clips of children playing and climbing at the Dingle playground in Halifax. Earthscape designed and constructed this playground for the Halifax Regional Municipality. The playground is not themed, but emphasizes the connection to nature with unstained log climbers, a log tower, and water play. Above all, the Dingle playground emphasizes free movement, risky play, and open-ended play opportunities.
You can read more about the Dingle playground and view more photos here.