Asakura Robinson provided landscape architectural services from schematic design through construction observation for the nature-based playscape at Mangum Headstart, which was completed in early Fall 2010. Avance directors approached Asakura Robinson in Summer 2010 with an interest in developing a ‘showcase’ nature playscape at the new preschool facility. The Headstart program guidelines recommend incorporating loose parts and natural elements within play areas, in order to facilitate healthy child development and encourage growth in a wide range of skills. Abundant plant material was used in the design to create different spaces and experiences. The ‘Beaver’s Hut’, made out of living willow shoots, encourages creative pretend play. The natural materials area, with loose parts such as wood fiber, sticks, and palm fronds, encourages interactive social skills in building structures. The sensory garden engages all of children’s senses as they interact with the plant material. The nature-based playscape offers continual interest with the changing of seasons, providing a new and different play experience every day.
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