Friday, October 22, 2010

Sooner Park Playtower, Bartlesville Oklahoma, Bruce Goff, 1963

How many times have I been to Bartlesville, just over the shortgrass prairie hills from my hometown...and I never knew about the Bruce Goff designed Playtower, now alas fenced off from the public due to structural instability.  There is a movement to save and refurbish it...join the cause or donate at savethegoffplaytower!

There are nice photos of this by Goff afficionados (these are from brucegoffbartlesville) but no one seems to tell the story.  Why a playtower?  Why Goff?  Why here?  Does anyone know?

P.S.  See the exhibit featuring computer recreations of Goff's unbuilt works currently on at the Fred Jones museum in Norman.

UPDATE:  Thanks to reader RobyntheSlug for providing the following:

"Mary Lou Price — the mother of Joe Price — asked him to design something she could present to the children of Bartlesville."  (source is the Bartlesville Examiner)

The Prices are, of course, Bartlesville's patrons of architecture:  Mary, along with her husband Harold, built Frank Lloyd Wrigh'ts only realized skyscraper, the Price Tower, and Joe Price commissioned Bruce Goff to build Shin'en Khan, now lost to arson.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

June Callwood Park, Toronto, Canada, gh3 (proposed)

Continuing on with the Canadians...I'm interested to see this maze/low climber proposed by architects gh3 as part of their winning design for the new June Callwood Park in Toronto. [found at worldarchitecturenews]

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Denpark, Eric Scraggs, Anjo-shi, Aichi-ken, Japan

Another playspace handcrafter is Eric Scraggs, who says that outside of his own municipality of Whistler, British Columbia the most interest in his work comes from Japan!  Here, his installation at Denpark, which I think is a Danish theme park (?) in Japan. See pics of his Canadian work at his website.

[Belated thanks to Rusty at planetearthplayscapes for the tip on this one!]

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Buying Kids Toys

Shopping for toys could not be easier than visiting This is an amazing website where you can literally find everything that you need for the children in your life. This website carries everything that you can imagine from Disney to Barbie, Star Wars to Transformers. Every popular kids toy can be found by simply going online to this site. This is a fun website to use when shopping for toys and also very easy to navigate. The toy categories are clearly marked and there is a vast selection of items to choose from. This is a website that can take a lot of the confusion out of shopping for toys and make the experience more pleasant and simple.

There are so many amazing products available at Everything 4 Kids you will be sure to find the perfect gift. From small toys with clever designs to large outdoor play sets, this website sells everything that a child could want. There is a large selection of riding toys and several cute options for a playhouse as well. All of the most popular kids toys that are making the wish lists across the country can be found on this website. This can help to take a lot of the pressure off of Christmas and Birthday gift shopping.

This wonderful website can eliminate hours spent at a toy store or the mall, and countless hours looking at multiple websites trying to find the toys that your kids want. There are few options as simple as being able to go to The name says it all, as there are numerous options fro children from toys to bedding and everything in between. This is a website that you will use over and over again to find all of the kids items that you need.

Kids toys are readily available on this website. There are toys from High School Musical and Sesame Street. Toys that are appropriate fro every age range and that will match any interest. This makes Everything 4 Kids the best place to go to find whatever kids toy you are looking for. With so many amazing choices in one place, the only thing to worry about is deciding which of these toys is just right. Whether you are looking for Nintendo games or iPods, Bob the Builder or Dora the Explorer, you will find exactly what you want here at
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Monday, October 11, 2010

Natural Rock Slide, Clifton, Bristol UK

So reader Matthew D. asked if there was a video of the previously blogged natural rock slide in Bristol, and OF COURSE it has occurred to people to put this on youtube.  The first one shows a slide, and the second one shows the view from the suspension bridge, which gives you some perspective on the slide's vertiginous location!  I do love Bristol.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Choose the Right Fun Activities for Your Kids

Choosing the right activities for your kids is no easy task. There are many things to consider with all the hustle and bustle of house chores, you can easily allow your kids to play anything they want. Your two-year old son might be playing with Legos, building small houses. He might be enjoying himself while playing but also putting himself into danger for he might accidentally swallow a Lego piece without you noticing until he complains of his stomach aching. Or your curly-haired daughter might be playing with stuffed toys which are too big for her.

To avoid these happening, you should spend time to assess the playing needs of your kid. It is the best thing to do to make sure your kids are safe. Know what makes your kid happy, without compromising their safety. You might want to watch a funny video with your kid, say, Sesame Street or Dora the Explorer. While enjoying the show, you can take that opportunity to observe what makes your kid laugh or what makes them sad. It can be Elmo's jollyness making them happy or Cookie Monster's loud voice which makes them sad or scared. Take note of those things for it will help you decide what fun activities you'll be sharing with your kids.

Watch funny shows with your kids. If they don't enjoy the singing and dancing with the Sesame Street, you can always hope that Dora will hold their attention and pick some of their qualities while hanging out with them. If they sing with Dora or dance with Boots, it's a good sign. It means your kid wants to lead and is willing to take some instructions from others, particularly someone older.
If your kid shows enthusiasm while singing with Diego, making hand moves when Swiper is around exclaiming, "Swiper no swiping! Swiper no Swiping!", you can say your kid enjoys activities which have interaction with a question and answer portion.

You can also try to see what their strengths and weaknesses are by having an art activity. You can try creating figures using clay or sticks. Add some humor while explaining to your kid how to create clay figures. Do NOT set any rules as to how big the figure should be or how should it look. It will suppress any excitement they have because there are some rules. Kids do not like too many rules.

You can also try doing the famous "Bring Me" game. Come up with funny rules and let both of you enjoy the moment of playing together. Crack some jokes while dictating what item you want him or her to give you, and you will not notice how much both of you enjoy it.
There are many activities you can do with your kids, but don't be too serious because it will rob both of you the chance to enjoy the company of each other while exploring each others' individuality.

Rosette Salvador is a freelance writer for online publications and writes for family enjoyment and child education. If you want to have some fun and laughter, go to this Kid-Friendly Website A top line resource on clean humor for young families with lots of things for kids to do.

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Friday, October 8, 2010

Artefakty, Krakow, Poland

The renewed interest in handcrafts over the last few years is showing up on the playground as and there are wood artisans, individually or in small groups, turning their hands to the creation of unique playspaces.  One of those is artefakty, out of Krakow, Poland, which I found at the always excellent blog of Polish landscape architect Anna Komorowska.

I love their use of circular forms  (playgrounds can get very cube-y!) and their beautiful transparent stains...


They also make children's toys and beautiful interior accents (watch for the wooden television aquarium!)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

EnTYREly Fun Playgrounds, James Jolley

Tires are generally a locally available material in developing countries, and are a key material for structures like those by GoPlay and Basurama.  They're also often a prominent feature in adventure playgrounds, which share a commitment to low-cost and recycled components.  Friend and playground advocate Tim Gill reminded me about the amazing manual for building tire structures by the late James Jolley, which is online in its entirety in memory of its author's commitment to children's environments.

Full instructions for every imaginable form of tire structure as well as some constructs using cable spools and barrels, too!  Delightful.  In my backyard growing up, we had a traditional swingset along with a big dirt hill (my mom asked the workers for a dumptruck of dirt when they were building the road), a barrel, an enormous tractor tire and a cable spool...hours of fun, especially before the trees were tall enough to climb.

In keeping with my line of thought lately about playground rubrics, here is how Jolley divided the types of playground functions provided by his designs:

1. Climbing
2. Swings
3. Sand and water play
4. Dramatic play
5. Landscaping, retaining walls etc.
6. Fantasy
7. Loose or movable constructive
8. Quiet
9. Movement equipment
10. Group
11. Solitary

A tire dragon to Jolley's design by Learning Structures in New Hampshire

Cool Kids Wallets For Boys and Girls

Nothing gives a child more pride than their own wallet so they can put their own hard earns money in. It also makes them feel a bit grown up that they can be like Mom and Dad. Secretly though getting your child a wallet is an excellent way to teach money management and it's never too early to start teaching. Good habits last a lifetime. So getting a wallet is a big step for your child.

There are many styles of kids' wallets out there for boys and girls of any age.

For Boys

Here are some cool kids' wallets for the boys

Superheroes - You cannot go wrong with superheroes. All boys love the superheroes and they can get nearly every superhero of their choice from Batman, Superman, Spider man, Iron Man, to the Incredible Hulk.

Disney - Give your boy a wallet with their favorite Disney character from Toy Story to Cars, along with easy open close Velcro tabs.

Quicksilver Men/Boys Leather Wallet - For the older child who may not want such a cartoon type wallet. Quicksilver is a popular maker of wallets for kids and adults.

Spongebob Squarepants Tri fold Wallet - For the Spongebob lover even a girl could adore this one. It is a tri folded wallet for quick open and close has a place for picture id, many slots for cards, and a zipper coin purse.

Personalized Wallets - If you truly want to make giving your child their first wallet special and to make them feel special you can get a personalize wallet with the child's name on it.

For Girls

Disney Princess- What girl will not adore a Disney's princess wallet? Its pink and it has all your Disney Princesses on it from Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin Princesses.

Dora the Explorer and Boots Wallet - Perfect for your little girl who loves Dora. This is an excellent starter wallet for a young child. Has easy open Velcro closure, trifold design that has a place for picture id, 4 slots for card, plus of course a large pocket for bills.

Roxy Chord Kids Wallet - This is a fun wallet perhaps aimed more for the tweens. This wallet has a fun urban chic design. Have snap closure, ten card pocket hold, ID card pocket, and a small change zipper pocket.

Barbie Tri fold Wallet - For the younger one again. This tri fold wallet comes in pink with picture of icon Barbie which any Barbie loving girl will adore.

Wildkin Fairies Tab Closure Wallet - For the fairy loving girls this wallet has a tab closure and is aimed for more the older girls age 10 -12. Comes as well with an ID card to fill out. Inside slots for cards and money and an outside small zipper pocket.

Personalize Wallets - To make the wallet super special get it personalize. You chose your type of wallet from a limited selection, then child's name is put on it. Which will be their special wallet for it has their name on it. This can make a great gift idea.

Find out more about Kids Wallets click here =>
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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Another playground contest....Build a playground in Thailand with GoPlay!

Bursting with playground ideas?  Want a chance to see them actually get built?
I'm incredibly pleased to see these new playground design contests springing up!

The latest is from Marcus Veerman and GoPlay! (previously featured on the blog) who build exceptional playgrounds from locally available materials in the developing world. 

From the competition website:

The Playground will be built on the Thailand - Burma border offering joy, happiness and a better education to over 1000 refugee children who have crossed the border from war torn Burma.

We have spent months preparing a real challenge for all you great designers out there. The winning designer will not only receive $1000 dollars to cover the travel costs and help manage their design onsite but they will be featured on the Open Architecture network that reaches tens of thousands of design professionals, they will be judged by incredible designers on the international judging panel and they will make hundreds of children really, REALLY happy.

We believe that designers can do more than make better can openers, they can make the world a better place, one space at a time and this is a real opportunity to do something amazing!

This competition is open to anyone

Non-professionals, students, even kids are all welcome to apply. Anyone who feels they can create an innovative play space that will encourage a child's education and well-being.

Registration deadline:  November 17, 2010
Entry Deadline:   January 3, 2011

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