As adults, we usually walk to get somewhere. Even if we're just out for a stroll, we are more likely to be thinking about the week's grocery list than we are to be wondering what might be under that rock over there.
Kids, on the other hand, aren't huge fans of walking. They prefer to meander, scurry, climb, discover, and explore. In short, to play. That's why we love this project, "Understanding the Child-Scale in the City," which explores what a walk through town looks like from a child's point of view. As the project collaborators point out:
“….Play is a function of the imagination. Environments which disturb or reduce the role of imagination and make the child more passive, more the recipient of someone else’s imagination, may look nice, may be clean, may be safe, maybe healthy, but just cannot satisfy the central necessities for play. Children are happiest when they can move things around – a delightfully messy occupation in which chaos is delightful and order is self-inscribed."
Here's a delightful depiction of how a child makes a city her playground:
Image from a-small-lab.com. See more images here.