Research shows that children learn best when classroom time is combined with opportunities for physical exercise. Play equipment and ball fields are traditional facilities for achieving this goal. However, the notion of play grounds can be expanded to address modern day challenges of childhood obesity, Type 2 diabetes, nature deficit disorder and food deserts. These issues inspire us to design pedestrian and bicycle connections to schools, incorporate trails into the playground for both students and the community, provide access to nature with themed gardens, and create opportunities for children to grow, and consume their own food.
The best playgrounds we have designed have been collaborations with stakeholders (principals, teachers, and maintenance staff) that are inspired by ideas such as navigation, hydrology, and riddles.