Monstrum’s Awesome Playgrounds

Monstrum, a Danish design firm, builds thoughtful imaginative wooden playgrounds all over the world. They create playgrounds with child development in mind, building to challenge and stimulate the child. Not only are they great for kids, but as an adult, I certainly appreciate the aesthetic and inventiveness.

Sadly, many schools in the United States are cutting recess and playtime with major drawbacks in children’s health and behavior. A study by the Elementary School Journal in 2008 found that almost 25% of schools did not have recess. I find this more perplexing with childhood obesity rates on the rise– 20% of 6-11 year olds were obese in 2008. Plus, many studies have found a strong positive correlation between child’s play and self-esteem.

“I get this feeling in my legs when they want to run and that feeling moves up to my belly and when that feeling moves up to my head I can’t remember what the rules are.”
– Nadav, 7, Pittsburgh

http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/obesity/facts.htm
http://www.livescience.com/15555-schools-cut-recess-learning-suffers.html

53 Comments

  1. These are beautifully designed. As a former teacher, I think it’s so important that kids have the opportunity to play. Some kids may go home to take care of younger siblings or to negative or unsafe home environments. It’s our responsibility to still give kids the chance to be kids no matter what their home life is like because it gives the opportunity for them to learn to socialize, to get exercise, to be creative and to feel joy.

  2. How creative, imaginative, and beautiful! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!!

  3. I absolutely love these !
    Used to own a child care center and really know the value of imagination in play for children.

  4. These playgrounds look fascinating. I would have loved to play inside those whales and parrots when I was a kid.

    But hey, at least I had recess. It’s a shame that it’s being cut in so many elementary schools. Even more than a shame, it’s harmful.

  5. Love this post! This has to be one of my favorite quotes of all time:

    “I get this feeling in my legs when they want to run and that feeling moves up to my belly and when that feeling moves up to my head I can’t remember what the rules are.”
    – Nadav, 7, Pittsburgh

    I hope we choose not to abandon this feeling for “educational achievement”!

    • Yes, that comment struck a chord; I felt so sorry for Nadav, he isn’t doing anything wrong. I cannot imagine my childhood without recess and P.E!

  6. It looks to me that this playground has a sense of thrill and danger that most modern playgrounds lack! What a great way to have fun and exercise at the same time, wouldn’t you agree?

    • Yes, definitely! The “About Us” section on their website explains how they try to challenge and build children’s motor skills and teach them how to asses risk in a safe(r) environment.

  7. How do I get one for my daughter? J/k Couldn’t afford it, but great ideas…. thanks for sharing.

  8. Love these.. Playgrounds are some of the best places on earth!!
    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  9. Nevermind recess time being cut…the playgrounds here SUCK ass now, because people have gone so overboard trying to make kids safe that they’re all really lame now, big plastic primary colored monstrousities…. Like Ronald McDonald puked

  10. Those are so cool! I wouldn’t mind playing on those.

    And I didn’t know that that many U.S. schools didn’t have recess. How sad.

    • Schools have been cutting recess and PE in the past decade to add extra class time so students have more time to prep for state and federal mandated tests. Even worse, a lot of parents are in favor of cutting PE and recess to add more class time to the school day.

  11. have always been fascinated with different playgrounds normally i like to find really big ones that you can almost get lost in but seriously these trump big parks by far those are awesome i want the whale in my backyard so bad

    • Yeah, that whale is awesome. Check out their website, there are a LOT more pictures.

        • Yes, the first word, “Monstrum” is a link and has a light gray line underneath of it. In retrospect, it isn’t very obvious which words are links.

  12. Love these, particularly the climbing whale. I am always saddened by the constant replacement of “unsafe” playgrounds in Australia with generic and boring playgrounds that only suit children under 7 years of age.

  13. Would have LOVED these kinds of playgrounds as a kid. However I hate to admit, I would miss swings and tyres and slides and seesaws… They are timeless!

    • The company said they include those essential pieces in the majority of their playgrounds. Their website has a lot more pictures.

  14. I feel like if people invested more money into children playground, then we might have kids that are not so obese It is a big problem in the states and i think it can be easily avoided.

  15. All the cool stuff is for kids 🙁 Grown ups wanna play too!

  16. What’s next to the parrot?

      • The yellow playground in the adjacent picture? I just can’t figure out what it is. 🙂

        • Oh, that’s a snake.

  17. “I get this feeling in my legs when they want to run and that feeling moves up to my belly and when that feeling moves up to my head I can’t remember what the rules are.”
    – Nadav, 7, Pittsburgh

    I just love this quote! And the playgrounds are amazing, I’m going to look up some of those for my own blog! I really like the idea thank you!

  18. I love this! Oh, these things are so very important along with art, music and children’s books. We’re cutting out the very things that color our humanity!

  19. Seems great fun to be there… Fascinated me. Thank you, and congratulations on being Freshly Pressed. With my love, nia

  20. Wow. Thank you for this post. I had no idea schools were cutting recess. The quote from Nadav so beautifully captures what children need. Our bodies were meant to move!

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