Saturday, April 21, 2012

Boundless Playgrounds!

My Boundless Playground, created with Google SketchUp
During Classroom Computer Applications, the Reading Brigade team presented their PBL on Boundless Playgrounds. Boundless Playgrounds are a non-profit organization that works with communities to develop playgrounds accessible by all children, regardless of their physical or mental capacity. These play areas are designed with inclusion in mind, so they focus on making sure that the different play equipment and spaces offered can be accessed by anyone. The Reading Brigade introduced us to Google SketchUp, a 3-D modeling program designed to be used by architectural, civil and mechanical engineers, as well as anyone who is interested in creating 3-D models easily and inexpensively. SketchUp is part of the Google package, so its basic program is free to download onto your own computer. The Reading Brigade instructed us to think about our plans for a Boundless Playground, and make them come to life in Google SketchUp.

I focused on equipment that was lower to the ground, with both ramps and stairs so that all children could access, no matter what their mobility status was. I also tried to include activities that were part of the landscape (the hop-scotch area, the swirl path, the sandbox with entrance/exit ramp), so that kids would have other options to play, besides just the equipment. If I had more time, I would work to design some climbing equipment that was low to the ground, with soft foam chips underneath so that if children would let go of the bars, they would have a safe and short fall. Using SketchUp made this project seem more real, which I think could be really effective to use with older students. I think using this software with elementary students would be very difficult though, because it is a little hard to learn at first. The Reading Brigade's idea was awesome, and I think it would be well-suited for secondary students to use, perhaps in conjunction with elementary students. It could be a combined learning effort, where elementary students help design the Boundless Playgrounds, and high school students manipulate the SketchUp tools to make it happen.

Great job Reading Brigade!


  1. I really like your idea of having both stairs and ramps for people depending on their disability! What a great idea!

  2. The tube slide is a great idea for safety and accessibility, I also like the idea of ramps to enter and exit the sand box. Great playground!

  3. Great playground, I enjoyed the wide range of access ability for a lot of different kinds of disabilities. Great job.

  4. Really neat playground!! I think the use of the slide and ramp is a great way to include a range of abilities.