I've waited (and worked) for two years to take these pictures!
Happy faces were everywhere as the children played
Others were pretty excited, too. The Atlanta Public School System proudly blogged about the exciting and fun-filled opening day of the Imagination Playground in a Box.
The IPB was opened up for the students at Atlanta's Bethune Elementary School Friday, October 2, 2009, and they LOVED it!
The first graders race to see what's inside the big green box
Two friends pause in the midst of the greatest recess ever
Every piece has a place and at the end of recess the children gather up the pieces and put them away.
I've watched the Rockwell Group as they developed this playground over the past couple of years, and as big a fan as I was, I was still blown away by the children's response. In seconds they were working together and alone to build things. One boy put together two pieces of the lightweight blue pieces and began to pretend he was filming with a movie camera, two girls made a rocking horse, another boy made dumbbells. The possibilities of what they can make are endless and the children's creativity amazed all of us watching.
This is one strong and creative young lady!
This picture shows what blows me away about the IPB system: creativity. Nobody suggested to this boy that he make a movie camera and start filming the event. He came up with it himself. Somehow he saw a camera in the blue blocks and he went for it. What kind of seeds does this creative freedom plant and nuture in the minds of our children? Maybe this fellow is our next Steven Spielberg or Woody Allen. We'll probably never know, but I do know that giving children the time and space to play freely unlocks jewels that benefit us all.
ATOP Founder Cynthia Gentry and Bethune Principal RoseMary Hamer beam at the completion of Phase I of Bethune's P.L.A.C.E. Next up: the Playground, Learning Arboretum and Center for Exploration... truly the most incredible playspace design around!