The Foundation for a Meaningful Life
Kindergarten - Grade 9 in Southborough, MA

News Detail - Magazine

A New Spin on Recess

This fall, Primary School students are spinning, swinging, sliding, climbing, balancing, and brachiating across a brand new playground. Consisting of four different structures surrounded by safety surfacing, the new playground encourages active play, exploration, structured risk-taking, and lots of fun.

The playground’s colorful new structures are designed and constructed by German manufacturer Berliner, which specializes in rope play equipment. Head of Primary School Katie Knuppel had visited one of their playgrounds with her children when they were younger and was fascinated to see how the style and function of the structures engaged children in different ways. “I was amazed by how different it was,” says Katie. “It’s so open-ended and imaginative.” Webs of rope to climb up, balance on, and crawl across encourage students to use their strength and problem-solving skills as they negotiate where to put their feet and how to get from one place to the next. Climbing through the three-dimensional structures builds spatial awareness, and each structure is versatile so that kids can crawl, scoot, or clamber across the same element depending on their age and inclination. One of the other benefits of this style of play is that it is self-limiting. Kids pursue the level of challenge that they are ready for, and they have the satisfaction of conquering the monkey bars or summiting the climbing structure when their developmental skills come together to make it possible. “They’re going to figure out how to get up on the monkey bars, and when they do, that’s when they’ll be ready to go on them,” says Katie.

Although the Primary School faculty tried out the new playground before students arrived, “it’s been fascinating to see the children using the equipment in ways that we hadn’t expected,” says Katie. In the spirit of introducing even more new styles of play to outdoor recess, the happy cacophony of recess will soon be boosted by the addition of colorful musical instruments from Percussion Play mounted along the fence. We can’t wait to see the students climbing, spinning, and making music in their new playground!

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main number 508-490-8250
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