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Nurture Social Activities

At the Collaborative we see play environments as more than just physical spaces. Schoolyards have the potential to engage the social, emotional, and health needs of children of all ages who routinely spend time there. 

A well-designed schoolyard reflects a range of outcomes for students. It can promote kids either working as a group or choosing a setting that best suits how they want to engage with one another. This may include:

  • spaces like stages and amphitheaters that inspire performance, creativity, and interactive play.
  • a secluded place to sit and read quiet or engage in make-believe play, which might apply to more introverted students.
  • engaging play environments that provide opportunities for sports and team-based activity, large or small, in which kids can  negotiate rules and take on leadership roles. 
  • public art—banners, tiles, mosaics, murals, or sculptures—that can give children a sense of pride and ownership, especially when they are invited to collaborate in its creation.
Examples of our work

The images below show designs for several schools that integrate ideas for nurturing social activity. 

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When planning and designing a schoolyard that will encourage social activities, consider these elements:

  • nature-inspired play
  • creative play
  • play zones
  • public and other art elements
  • game tables


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