Adventure Playground YHZ Definitions From Attendees

Everyone who attended the meeting was asked to prepare a few sentences outlining what an adventure playground meant to them, and to then craft a punchy elevator pitch for conveying that to the uninitiated. The combined sumbissions were then run through tag-cloud software to help visualize the top 100, 50, 25 and finally 10 words after "adventure" and "playground" were removed. The top 10 words were then used in crafting a "common denominator" statement as a representation of the groups "mos...

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Adventure Playground YHZ Definitions From Attendees by Mind Map: Adventure Playground YHZ Definitions From Attendees

1. Jolyn

1.1. Why:

1.1.1. We have a problem to solve: kids in our community do not know how to assess or take risks from the play they are exposed to in schools and playgrounds.

1.1.2. Kids need outdoor play.

1.1.3. Kids need family play.

1.1.4. Halifax has the ability to be a world-reknown backdrop for an exciting outdoor destination.

1.1.5. A place where rugged, outdoor play is invited builds a healthy community.

1.2. Structured vs unstructured

1.2.1. A place where natural elements are embraced and explored.

1.2.2. A place in which various instruments can be attached to slide from one place to the next.

1.2.3. A place in which various pieces can be used to figure out how to get from one place to another.

1.2.4. A place where we redefine how everyday, upcycled items are used in play

1.3. Partners

1.3.1. Tourism

1.3.2. Parks & Recreation

1.3.3. Family focused Businesses

1.3.4. Outdoor Enthusiasts

1.3.5. Local Families

2. Tanya M

2.1. Summary

2.1.1. Halifax needs an adventure playground so that children living in an urban environment have a chance to experience outdoor and risky play in an 'only as safe as necessary' environment.

2.2. Overview

2.2.1. While increasingly common in Europe, adventure playgrounds remain rare in North America. Most local playgrounds contain only fixed equipment made of metal that cannot be modified by those using it. The structures offer little opportunity for risky play unless children use it not as intended, which many anxious caregivers and teachers strongly discourage. An adventure playground based on loose parts, with structures that can be moved or modified by children, allows children to engage in unstructured play with elements of risk. An increasing body of research shows that in addition to physical improvements like core body strength, balance and motor skills, unstructured play provides children with greater social skills through negotiation, compromise and group decision-making, and increases their executive function

3. Jillian

3.1. + 'natural' landscape

3.2. + loose parts - full of materials that allow kids the ability to take apart, build, re-build, plan and create - both natural and intentional

3.3. + realistic age range? 3 years+? unsure

3.4. + place to climb - trees, rocks

3.5. + access to water

3.6. + empowerment, agency for their 'own' place, imagination

3.7. + playworkers - ECE's from MSVU/NSCECE - required PD of 10 hrs/year to maintain classification level

3.8. + a place to build, explore, create, take risks, play without interference from parents

4. Maura

4.1. An adventure playground is a place where children’s imaginations are set free. Here children can use their minds, bodies, hearts, and all the materials around them, to create, play, pretend, dream, build, and try out whatever they want. It invites invention, collaboration, and fun – and allows children to connect with nature. It is also a rare chance for city kids to build things by themselves, outdoors. In the process, children gain confidence and skills, and they learn many things about themselves, others, and the world around them. All of these contribute to children’s development – and thus, to the development of future leaders, innovators, and problems-solvers in many areas of life and work. An adventure playground ensures access for lower-income children through its operations (free or sliding scale) and its location (in or adjacent to an urban area with many lower-income families). Finally, its very existence raises public awareness of the importance of outdoor play that is child-led, non-prescribed, and as free of restrictions as possible.

4.2. Elevator Pitch

4.2.1. Think of the best outdoor play experiences from your own childhood. [pause for reflection J] They likely involve free play with other kids, not while climbing on playground equipment, and likely not under the supervision of adults. An adventure playground ensures that the children of today and tomorrow – children who live here in the city – will have some of those same experiences.

5. Alex

5.1. An adventure playground is a welcoming space created first and foremost with kids in mind. Kids are provided with the permission and materials to create, build and manipulate the environment based on their abilities and desires - wooden huts, lean-tos, cardboard castles, waterways and sand kingdoms are all a go. Self-directed play with minimal adult intervention is the norm. Exploration and discovery are encouraged through loose parts play and the repurposing of recycled or reclaimed materials - pallets, cable spools, tires, crates, etc. This is a place where kids rule and the interior landscape is under frequent kid led renovation as they use hammers, nails, saws and other tools to create a place they can call their own. Adult resource people, caregivers, are on hand at all times taking on an enabling type role, intervening only when necessary. It takes a village to create a community of play.

5.2. Elevator Pitch

5.2.1. a playground where children are provided with miscellaneous equipment, often waste material, from which they may contrive their own amusement

6. Allison

6.1. an adventure playground is a dedicated space created for children, by children - or at least from a child's view. Meaning: rather than creating a "pretend store" structure because we think they'll like it, give them the structures (a box, even!) to create it on their own - if that's the kind of pretend play they're interested in that day. It's about adding risk into play (think: rock & tree climbing, ideally utilizing the natural environment) allowing children to take their own risks so long as they are not out to harm another child. It's about removing the forced play structures that allow a child to play only one way and adding in more play items/places that allow children to explore and access opportunities (social/physical) that they wouldn't otherwise often be able to. It's about adding in lots of loose parts (pipes, bricks, tires, wood) that children can manipulate and will further empower them to shape and develop their own space. I envision a community (with artists!) coming together with lots of kids to paint and build the foundations of the playground which would also include lots of fun and funky painting projects.

6.2. Elevator Pitch

6.2.1. An adventure playground is a fun & whacky space dedicated to children's play - where children are empowered to create their own fun and adults do not interrupt.

7. Jon

7.1. Elevator Pitch

7.1.1. We used to live in jungles and played with stuff we found in the environment. An adventure playground gives kids as much or as many things as we can without any rules, form or function imposed upon them for how to use it or go about play.


8.1. 100

8.2. 50

8.3. 25

8.4. 15

8.5. 10

8.6. Creating One Sentence from the 10 most common words:

8.6.1. An outdoor place where children create, build and play in their own environment.