by Ron King, Natural Playgrounds Company
25 years ago, we interviewed 600 kids in one school. They ranged in age from Kindergarten through 4th grade, and every student in every class participated.
We presented a slide show in which we showed the kids 4 different scenarios, with 2 comparison photos for each, told them there was no right or wrong answer, and asked them a basic question.
Photo 1: was an 8’ shade gazebo in the middle of a playground with kids sitting under it. The comparison photo was a stone wall circle in the woods. I asked the kids where they would rather be sitting and talking with their friends.
Photo 2: was a photo of an 8 year old leaning against a large tree in open woods. The comparison photo was a bunch of kids on a playground. I asked the kids where they would rather be.