Play Hive

The implications for this in a yard, garden, atrium, park, or foyer are endless.  And all you need is scrap wood.  It does not need to be shiny and new - you're simply creating a structure.  I also love the fact that it is not permanent - it is flexible and changeable if you plan it to be like that, so it can compliment changing communities.

I came across this resource through Playscapes, a favorite source of wonderful play spaces.  These images came up on my Google Reader last week, and it drew me right back over there, as always:

It is always amazing to think about how wonderful play spaces like this can gain so much interest in a community and inspire sharing and use.  The creation of play spaces like the play hive or the play tent above can be a community event from planning to creation to installation.  And, again, changeable.

It is challenging to find non-commercial community play spaces right now.  From school yards to public parks, valuable budget money is spent on commercial structures.  It doesn't take much research to learn that the structure below costs almost $17,000.  

Any parent or teacher who has been in a meeting trying to decide how to spend school funds probably knows that $17,000 is a lot of money for a school to find, and deciding how it will be spent is a big deal.  Playgrounds are a place where money is often spent on unnecessary things - things that schools and communities think they need because it is the norm.  

I would love to hear stories of community play spaces that fought against the norm, and the journey of what it took to make a more natural, core community based play space happen.  I truly think that if a group of people who are stakeholders in a play space for the community truly thought about why they are creating or improving a play space started with conversation and brainstorming rather than play equipment catalogs, money would be saved, spaces would be more personalized, and the community would be stronger from planning, building, and using it together.