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Playground for K-8 and Preschool

By: RMCA

At Rainbow Community School, we've worked hard to construct two different playgrounds to encourage all children to embrace nature, play outside, and use creative play whenever possible. 

The preschool and the K-8 playground comprise what the school calls, The Gnome Village. Here, friendships are made, and students work toward environmental stewardship, free play, and foster relationships that help develop imagination, physical fitness, and various skills.

 

[image] preschool playground

This is an image of our recently completed preschool playground. It is adjacent to the K-8 playground on campus. You can see a "playhouse" area, a "balance beam boardwalk" and lots of river rocks. Each piece of the playground was constructed using recycled materials wherever possible. 

Students themselves also helped build the rock foundation structure by donating a rock.

For our larger playground, the structural logs were already "dead" locust trees refashioned into posts. Builders used recycled concrete (urbanite) to backfill different areas of the playground. Even screws and nails that could be reused were applied toward these projects. 

The whole idea behind the playground was to mimic being in a forest. The Rainbow Community School campus has been named a "Treasure Tree Campus" by the city of Asheville, NC. The school has over 75 old growth trees. The staff and board wanted to build a playground that would not only celebrate those trees, but also to encourage environmental stewardship with students. 

To further encourage outdoor play, the school contructed an outdoor basketball court adjacent to the playground. Underneath the cement slab, workers also fillled that area with urbanite.

[image] baketball court

 

Students can also play in the water feature. It uses recycled water (rainwater) that students themselves can turn on or off. 

[image] water feature

 

Again, all the posts came from dead locust trees. The rocks are river rocks. Students can let their imaginations run free!

On the K-8 Playground, that is now fully complete, students can play any manner of games, climb the wall, play on the tire swing (with the recycled tire) and run in the mulch-filled playground.

[image] playground

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