30 May '11, 1pm
How to build a better playground:
There's a school in Berlin that used to be entirely paved, and they put in a dry creek bed that fills when it rains, with a hand pump and a sandpit. I saw 15 kids working together to dam a puddle, and at the end of recess, with great excitement, they opened the dam and let the water flow into the creek. And there's a guy in Norway who builds Tarzan play environments involving telephone poles with metal bars set on valleys of stacked tires. Kids swing across the chasm on rope swings to the other side, and the swings are set so they can bump into each other. Here we think it's too dangerous for swings to interact that way, but no one there seems to be getting hurt.