As the first Imagination Playground™ Park opens this week at Burling Slip in the South Street Seaport area of New York City, our CEO Darell Hammond reflects on the decline of creativity and the lack of imagination in today's playscapes. In his Huffington Post blog, he asserts that while kids can find a way to play creatively with just about everything, we adults are failing to provide them with stimulating, challenging, inspiring play environments.
Whether on a beach, in a backyard, or at an Imagination Playground™ Park, kids need environments that lend themselves to unstructured, child-directed play. Darell says:
Remember when a cardboard box used to inspire hours of imaginative play? It's a doghouse; no, it's a drum; no, it's a secret fort! A cardboard box comes with no instructions. It doesn't require batteries. It doesn't talk to you when you shake it or pull a string. And yet, children are drawn toward boxes, just as they are drawn toward bottles, or rubber bands, or Styrofoam peanuts.
He describes the first Imagination Playground™ Park, which includes a sandpit, cascading water channel, rope climbing structure, and loose parts--such as burlap bags, buckets, shovels, brooms, carts and fabric.