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Members of the Professional Practice Networks (PPNs) were recently surveyed about their favorite spaces. Responses were varied and had many insightful comments and suggestions, which will be shared and discussed with everyone here over the next few months. 


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This week we will focus on spaces that every child should experience.  

When asked about these spaces, PPN members mentioned the following:

  • Central Park, New York City
  • City Museum, St. Louis
  • Disneyland
  • Grand Canyon, Arizona
  • Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
  • The National Mall, Washington, D.C.
  • Yosemite Valley, California

But the theme that arose was that children should experience natural spaces. Here are a few suggestions and comments.

Forests / woods

“Promotes imaginative play.”

“Best if they can enjoy and experience the outdoors with as few man-made elements as possible.

It provides the opportunity to explore and test nature.”

“Scale.”

“The sense of adventure and discovery.”

“To gain perspective and realize from an early age that humans are part of something much larger than themselves.”

“A virgin-growth forest brings a realization of how short life is and that people really need to be stewards of the environment. We are only on this planet for a short time period.”

Nature / outdoors

“It teaches a child to listen, see, and experience the universe.”

“Great play, great imagining, Inspirational views, educational, irreplaceable.”

“It is the connection between our own existence and everything else.”

“Kids need to explore.”

“Being outdoors gives kids a hands-on playground, which is instrumental in development.”

“Every child should get to run around the woods, and fields, and a beach.”

“Bonds child for life with nature and has myriad learning opportunities.”

“Kids need unstructured play time. The outdoors is the best playground.”

Water / beach

“Children are empowered to create with the sand. Observe the power of the ocean to create and destroy.”

“Kids need to get muddy, gaze at water skippers, collect bulging cat tails, and chase frogs. Too often today kids don't even have one of these water bodies near them let alone any experience running around wild in these natural places, free from hovering parents concerned about getting dirty.”

“Being in or near water is where a child can fall in love with nature.”

“The sounds, the smells, and the site invigorate and enhance play and creativity and exploration and imagination.”

“Allows children the opportunity to explore and develop an affinity for the natural environment.” “Experience changes with time of the day and time of the year and provides endless opportunities for learning and making memories.”



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