"The Schoolyard is Sick" in LAM

A thought provoking article came out in the latest issue of LAM. https://landscapearchitecturemagazine.org/2019/06/25/the-schoolyard-is-sick/

It focuses on students’ mental health and the space they inhabit on a daily basis - schoolyards. Health, well-being and sensory integration were the words spoken most at the latest conference we attended, Children & Nature Network, and this article echos those same discussions.

Claire Latané states in the article:

“Such students—along with those who have attention deficit, sensory integration, and autism spectrum disorders—are hypersensitive to noise, light, and visual disarray. What they need—and Latané insists they deserve—is “a well-organized, comfortable, calm environment, plenty of access to nature, and small quiet places to escape chaos.”

At BAY TREE DESIGN we believe that children need the environment stated above. We work with clients - private and public schools - to create spaces that support our children’s whole development. We want children to exceed academically AND also to be confident in themselves, have self-efficacy, take risks, and have access to an environment that supports whole sensory development from visual to proprioceptive.

Below are some images Lisa Howard took while participating in the International School Grounds Alliance conference in Japan last November.

The integration of topography, play structures, natural landscape elements and loose parts provide children with many choices in play.

The integration of topography, play structures, natural landscape elements and loose parts provide children with many choices in play.

At this preschool / Kindergarten in Japan children have many options during recess including quiet spaces, climbing for heights, a “yard” for ball play, and places to look for insects.

At this preschool / Kindergarten in Japan children have many options during recess including quiet spaces, climbing for heights, a “yard” for ball play, and places to look for insects.

The yard also includes a pond where children can study and look for little creatures and begin to understand ecological processes.

The yard also includes a pond where children can study and look for little creatures and begin to understand ecological processes.