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  • Community Design Collaborative –
    log What will happen if I balance these three sticks I want to move this tree stump can I carry it myself Do I need help to move it Experiences like these are how children build awareness and confidence in their abilities and decision making We want our children to have lots of these experiences before they become teens and begin making decisions with more consequences For a child nature can be very small playing in the dirt sheltered by a bush or playing among the roots of a tree The best nature play occurs in places that are near the home easy for children to get to on a regular basis Most people have access to some form of nature the trouble is that often people don t see the nature in their communities For a child nature can be very small playing in the dirt sheltered by a bush or playing among the roots of a tree Rain snow dirt rocks and sticks are basic elements of nature that provide excellent opportunities for play Creating works of art with mud building snow forts jumping in puddles building with sticks and rocks the possibilities are boundless Children s attraction to nature is instinctive nature is the primary biological context for our cognitive and physical development Our brains have evolved to be responsive to the natural world Technology and our culture have evolved far more rapidly than our brains Our brains still respond with fear and disgust to spiders and snakes despite the fact that people are statistically more likely to die from an automobile than a spider Our brains still drive us to be attracted to homes near water despite the fact that in the developed world we can get water in any home simply by turning on the

    Original URL path: http://cdesignc.org/blog/2015/11/11/children-need-nature (2016-04-24)
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  • Community Design Collaborative –
    a false dichotomy prevails presenting play and learning as mutually exclusive 80 of children s waking time is spent outside of the classroom Although the main way of addressing this lag in achievement has been through school based reforms the fact is that 80 of children s waking time is spent outside of the classroom As such there is a real need to encourage learning and discovery in the many places where children and families spend their time Play may help connect individuals with the places around them and reinterpret ways to use public space In particular playful learning a broad educational approach featuring child directed play methods provides a unique way to foster learning and engagement with the built environment Play spaces literally make room for play in a society starved of opportunities for play Play spaces literally make room for play in a society starved of opportunities for play Incorporating playful elements into architecture public spaces and playgrounds also promotes curiosity and a desire to learn The physical environment can influence internally driven curiosity through the creation of a disposition and readiness to engage in and explore a learning activity termed a mise en place This French phrase references chefs preparations before cooking including moving all tools and ingredients into easy reach Putting things in place for a learning activity will engage children more readily while also encouraging conversations involving a targeted learning goal These are key ingredients to keep in mind when designing play spaces for children and adults of all ages But why is play effective for learning Research from the Temple Infant and Child Lab where I work has demonstrated the ability of playful learning to affect a variety of child outcomes Playful learning may be successful because it embodies the key ingredients for learning it is active engaged meaningful and socially interactive These are key ingredients to keep in mind when designing play spaces for children and adults of all ages Active learning refers to contexts that are minds on and require careful thought and deliberation Physically active play is also important since it can mediate obesity and other health risks in addition to fostering motor skills Engaged learning happens when children are focused on a task and not distracted The enjoyable nature of play helps draw children in and allows them to focus while having fun Play doesn t need a ton of bells and whistles a simple play space featuring visually interesting block play or other child friendly activities is enough to get children interested Play doesn t need a ton of bells and whistles a simple play space featuring visually interesting block play or other child friendly activities is enough to get children interested Research also shows that when content is presented in a meaningful way that relates to children s previous life experiences they are more likely to learn that information Play spaces can accomplish this by incorporating elements from the neighborhood that are familiar to the children to help

    Original URL path: http://cdesignc.org/blog/2015/11/11/playing-to-learn (2016-04-24)
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  • Community Design Collaborative –
    nature One of its hallmarks is loose parts like tree stumps sticks nuts and pine cones that let kids build and improvise Family child care providers in Philadelphia typically have limited outdoor spaces to offer their children Charrette participants designers early child care educators family child care providers environmentalists and others collaborated on designs for eight prototypical Philly yards Together they learned how simple small scale natural elements like grasses

    Original URL path: http://cdesignc.org/blog/2015/11/02/child-s-play-design-charrette (2016-04-24)
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  • Community Design Collaborative – Case Studies
    within the School District of Philadelphia and several for independent schools and other public school systems This section explores how we served three specific schools finding creative ways to build on each school s particular strengths and address its unique challenges Each took a different approach to transforming its schoolyard Lea initiated its project through a community group rather than a parent teacher association Cook Wissahickon has made incremental changes

    Original URL path: http://cdesignc.org/guides/schoolyards/case-studies (2016-04-24)
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  • Community Design Collaborative – Design Elements
    School Each Collaborative schoolyard project uses a unique combination of the design elements showcased here Your design will emerge from the needs of your community and the particulars of your school students and site As part of our design process we encourage schools to focus on how individual elements can reinforce broader goals for supporting students as well as the community These benefits also resonate with stakeholders and potential funders

    Original URL path: http://cdesignc.org/guides/schoolyards/design-elements (2016-04-24)
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  • Community Design Collaborative – Steps to a Green Schoolyard
    s just one piece of the process Schoolyard transformation can take years rather than months to accomplish An effective project requires community building tenacity attention to detail and endurance This section summarizes some of steps you ll encoun ter along the way to a better schoolyard This is important because the work you do in the early stages will sustain you over the duration of the project and beyond Steps

    Original URL path: http://cdesignc.org/guides/schoolyards/steps (2016-04-24)
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  • Community Design Collaborative – Schoolyard Resources
    Scientists PROFESS and the Senior LandHealth Advocate Program Mt Airy USA Organize Find the Funding Ensures that families have access to a high quality public education by facilitating strategic investment to support public schools through its Mt Airy School Coalition serving six neighborhood public schools NetworkArts Connect the Classroom Implement Your Plan Expands children s opportunities to express themselves to explore science the arts and the humanities and to create art that permanently transforms their communities Next Great City Implement Your Plan Over 100 civic associations labor unions businesses public health organizations environmental nonprofits faith based organizations and social service groups dedicated to creating a positive future for Philadelphia by advocating for common sense cost effective policies that enhance environmental quality strengthen neighborhoods and increase economic competitiveness PA Department of Environmental Protection Find the Funding Funds recreation park and conservation acquisition development education and technical assistance for the purpose of clean water and sound land use land reclamation natural resource conservation and community recreation through Growing Greener grants PA Green and Healthy Schools Partnership Organize A network of non profits governmental agencies and others who are committed to ensuring that all schools are healthy environmentally friendly and cost efficient places of learning provides access to great local models and links to practical advice like a guide to maintenance planning for school gardens Partnership for the Delaware Estuary Find the Funding Helps corporate and community members in the Delaware Estuary take a leadership role in preserving their communities environmental well being by combining technical assistance from the Partnership with corporate funds and manpower through the Corporate and Community Environmental Stewardship Program PECO An Excelon Company Find the Funding Green Region grants provide support to improve the quality of the environment through education conservation preservation and protection Penn State Extension Philadelphia Connect to the Classroom Implement Your Plan Steward Your Success Practical agriculture education to help people businesses and communities solve problems develop skills and build a better future Philadelphia programming focuses on urban agriculture and youth engagement Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Connect to the Classroom Implement Your Plan Provides Philadelphia educators with the skills to integrate horticultural and environmental education into curricula after school programs and service learning projects through the Green City Teachers program PHENND Connect the Classroom Strengthens service learning civic engagement and community partnerships in Philadelphia by connecting academics with community involvement Philadelphia Crosstown Coalition Friends of Neighborhood Public Education Organize Brings together civic associations from across Philadelphia to enact change includes an Education Committee to encourage community organizing and support for public schools Philadelphia Green Schools Alliance Organize Find the Funding Implement Your Plan Promotes a partnership of schools and community organizations working together to transform Philadelphia schoolyards into versatile facilities for school and community use coordinating with the Philadelphia Water Department s efforts to green schoolyards through its Green City Clean Waters Program Philadelphia Mural Arts Program Connect the Classroom Implement Your Plan Integrates the activities of city agencies community organizations and residents to collectively transform schools

    Original URL path: http://cdesignc.org/guides/schoolyards/schoolyard-resources (2016-04-24)
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  • Community Design Collaborative – Our Schoolyard Projects
    John B Kelly Elementary School Germantown 2012 Henry C Lea Elementary School West Philadelphia 2012 Joseph Leidy Elementary School Parkside 2003 Gen George A McCall Elementary and Middle School Center City 2013 William McKinley Elementary School Norris Square 2014 William M Meredith Elementary School Queen Village 2012 S Weir Mitchell Elementary School Kingsessing 2003 George W Nebinger School Bella Vista 2011 Olney Charter High School Olney 2013 Samuel Powel School

    Original URL path: http://cdesignc.org/guides/schoolyards/projects (2016-04-24)
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