Play provides opportunities for cognitive, psychological and physical development to occur in tangent. Play helps synthesis concrete and abstract learning while developing confidence and social and learning skills. But the importance of play has diminished in American public education.
In Dallas, Texas elementary students only have 20 minutes of recess each school day. To augment this limitation, our design aims to integrate learning objects with physical activity throughout the day, in addition to the 20 minute recess.
We have set up outdoor learning spaces adjacent to the classrooms and library to provide a variety of stimulating learning environments. The aim is to demonstrate learning and play may occur in a multitude of spaces. Not just learning in a classroom or play in a playground.
The outdoor courtyards are designed to facilitate a primary - teacher led learning experience - And then a secondary objective to allow for individual and group opportunities based on the teacher’s lesson. Each courtyard has built equipment and gardens to interaction with and provide cognitive, social, and emotional experiences.
The playground area is designed to be a freeform play area for the 20 minute recess as well as a resource beyond school hours. The playground area reaches out to the neighborhood on either side. Towards the city playground and towards the church and neighborhood.
There are areas for group and individual play. Areas for hearty exertion and areas for quiet play.
Dynamic experiences where children can choose and act where they like. Safe “core” spaces so children can act spontaneously for optimal development and engagement. Mix of age groups so that younger learn from older kids, and older kids learn from teaching.
Experiences in this design form abstract and concrete learning spaces. Early childhood developing sensory motor skills and cognitive powers in prekindergarten courtyard. Older child begin to develop more abstract skills. Abstract focusing on sensory motor development