Sidewalk murals to installed to encourage play

More great sidewalk art inspiring play:

Sidewalk murals to encourage creativity in York - The York Daily Record

York County School of Technology student Lisa Nguyen, 15, painted this colorful artscape, “Step Across the Rainbow,” along North Beaver Street in front of Central Market.

The piece is part of the Bring on Play program as part of the Eat Play Breathe York initiative to add interactive play opportunities for children along regular walking routes downtown.

“The goal is to have playful sidewalk artscapes throughout the city, especially in neighborhoods, so we can reach children who might not have the opportunity to go to a park or play on school playground equipment,” Eat Play Breathe York chairwoman Cori Strathmeyer said. “We want to really encourage creativity and socialization as well as the physical aspect.”

The plan is to complete 20 permanent sidewalk murals downtown by the end of summer.

more via Sidewalk murals to encourage creativity in York – The York Daily Record.

The Power of Play and Creative Playful Spaces

Three kids, now all high school graduates, dedicated their recesses to digging up a gigantic rock out of their elementary school yard. The principal decided to keep it and now future generations of kids are getting a chance to play with the “magical” rock.

The kids started working on the gift unwittingly. It was 10 years ago. They were in second grade and out on the playground during recess when one of them saw a little rock — or what looked like a little rock — sticking up out of the ground.

But year after year they returned to the project. Digging mostly with sticks and plastic spoons they got from the cafeteria, the kids dug down — through second grade, third grade, fourth grade and fifth grade — until finally, just before moving on to middle school, they finished.

The principal brought in heavy equipment to lift it out of the hole for them. That was 2008. Now the three are like rock stars around Kittredge, partly because of the accomplishment itself, but mostly for what the rock has become.

more, including the video, via How a rock on a school playground became “magical” – CBS News.

The kids now use the rock as a “neutral” zone, or a spot to hang out and wait for kids to come invite you to play, which as  a former kid I can tell you does indeed feel magical.

It is amazing the dedication that kids can show in play and exploration. They spent years! digging up this rock with improvised tools. An amazing lesson in perseverance, creativity, and teamwork.

Incredible props to the elementary school principal who let the kids dig up the yard to get to the rock, so many may have discouraged the behavior.

Draw A Walking Route In Whatever Shape You Want | PSFK

Looking to have a little fun with your walk? Now you can use mapping technology to do so…

The Trace app will let you turn a sketch on your smartphone into a physical walking route around a city. You can share your route with a friend, and the recipient gets step-by-step directions. Eventually, the app will reveal the shape on a map.

The walk creator can add signposts along the way—images, audio recordings, messages—which will pop-up at specific places in-route. Walkers can begin their walk anywhere in the city, and pick the duration of their walk. The app adjusts the size of the shape accordingly.

Sixteen walkers in Seattle, Boston and Chicago tested out Trace for a week, drawing over 150 shapes. They sent the walks to friends or tried the routes themselves. The results were presented in a study in Seoul, at the Association for Computing Machinery’s CHI conference last month.

more via Draw A Walking Route In Whatever Shape You Want.

40 Inspiring Workspaces Of The Famously Creative | Sorry That It’s Buzzfeed

Need some creative inspiration? How about a creative, inspiring environment? Not a lot of patterns here, although I’d love to see a behavioral scientist try and spot one?

Mark Twain, author.

Ruth Reichl, food writer.

From tiny writing desks to giant painting studios, the only thing all of these creative studios have in common is that they inspired their successful inhabitants to create greatness.

Georgia O’Keefe, painter.

Alexander Calder, sculptor.

see all forty via 40 Inspiring Workspaces Of The Famously Creative.

This large-scale building kit helps kids learn about engineering, architecture, and design through play : TreeHugger

“Rigamajig is not about a finished product. It’s the playful process. The collaborating. The tinkering. The soft and hard skills that are learned while kids are engaged in play. This is what learning can look like!” – Cas HolmanInstead of coming with an instruction booklet that outlines how to build specific contraptions, the guide booklet for teachers, parents, and educators gives tips on how to best utilize Rigamajig for their situation, as well as offering “Play Prompts” to spur children’s imagination.

via This large-scale building kit helps kids learn about engineering, architecture, and design through play : TreeHugger.

Bored Coworkers Recreate Classic Paintings Using Office Supplies | DeMilked

On a lighter note, I am always appreciative of people who maintain a playful attitude and are able to have fun no matter where they are, even at work:

Francesco Fragomeni and Chris Limbrick found themselves bored at Squarespace’s office in NYC one day so they came up with a fun activity. Using only the stuff found in their office, the two coworkers managed to recreate the famous “Creation of Adam” by Michelangelo. They were pretty happy with the results, so they continued recreating iconic paintings, which eventually grew into a project called “Fools Do Art.”Other coworkers started to join into the fun and they began accepting idea submissions from people all around the world. Every recreation, however, has to satisfy two strict rules: it must be made exclusively using things found in the office, and any photo manipulations, if needed, must be made on a smart phone.

Some of these are really creative, and actually a pretty great way to teach people about art (*hint hint school admins*).

Check out all the pics via Bored Coworkers Recreate Classic Paintings Using Office Supplies | DeMilked.

Art Students Transform Ugly Electrical Towers Into Colorful Lighthouses | Bored Panda

Why has nobody thought of this before?

Three art students in Germany have come up with a novel way to beautify ordinarily ugly urban environments. They turned a common electric tower into a makeshift stained glass lighthouse.The change was simple but effective. Ail Hwang, Hae-Ryaan Jeon and Ghung Ki Park, students at Klasse Löbbert in Münster, Germany, filled the gaps in the tower’s struts with panels of colored acrylic plastic, turning it into a dazzlingly colorful structure. It’s not quite as detailed and beautiful as true stained glass, but it is nonetheless a great approach for decorating an otherwise ugly structure. The resulting work is called Leuchtturm, or “lighthouse” in German.

more, including the original source, via  Bored Panda.

It would also alert birds and other migratory animals that they might not want to hang out there. The only problem I can see with this is if the plastic acted as a prism for the grass and started a fire, but I’m sure there are ways you could engineer around that. Right?

10 Ways to Make Your Life More Playful

As we start summer, remember to spend some time playing! Here are 10 tips how.

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” ~George Bernard Shaw

I was 25 and traveling through Ireland by myself. I was in Cong, a rural small town outside of Galway. It was quiet. Very quiet. Even though I had met people on my trip, I was starting to feel lonely.

I was thousands of miles from home. I had nobody around who knew me well or cared for me, and in the days before cell phones or internet cafes, I couldn’t just get in touch with my friends or family at the drop of a hat.I went on a walk in a local park, along a wide stream that emptied into a small, pristine pond. The weather was grey and gloomy, the park was damp and romantic-looking, with its bending trees and dark water.

On a whim, I sat down by the edge of the pond and began to do something I hadn’t done in probably 15 years: I started to build a fairy village out of sticks, pebbles, and leaves.As a child I had practically lived in the backyard, building intricate tiny villages, exploring the spaces in between plants and trees, making tree roots into cottages and lumps of mud into hillsides.

It calmed me down and got me away from sometimes troubling thoughts. In Ireland, I found the same thing happened: My loneliness and anxiety vanished, and an hour or so later when I finished, I felt better: lighter, and less worried.

read all about the 10 Ways to Make Your Life More Playful.

Giant Living Sculptures At Atlanta Botanical Gardens’ Exhibition | Bored Panda

Beautiful sculptures, and a great way of being playful with gardening and making gardens more engaging for everyone.

Mosaiculture is an excellent art form for those among us with the green thumbs and the space to do it. An excellent example of this complex but beautiful artistic process would be the “Imaginary Worlds” mosaiculture exhibition at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens – these elaborate and massive green structures create mystical and fantastic worlds that are lush with living foliage.There is more to these amazing works of living art than meets the eye. Most of them begin with a steel frame of some sort, which is covered with steel mesh. This mesh is then covered with sphagnum moss and soil, which is seeded with all sorts of plants. Underneath the mesh, a network of irrigation channels supply water to the plants on the surface, helping them grow.

more via Giant Living Sculptures At Atlanta Botanical Gardens’ Exhibition | Bored Panda.

The Value of Unstructured Play Time for Kids – Pacific Standard: The Science of Society

This is a nice study that looks at the value for kids, but unstructured creative and/or play time is important for adults AND kids.

German psychologists find people who were allowed to play freely as children have greater social success as adults.

There has been plenty of hand-wringing in recent years about the “overscheduled child.” With after-school hours increasingly dominated by piano lessons, soccer practice, and countless other planned activities, many of us have a nagging sense that kids are missing out on something important if they have no time for unstructured play.New research from Germany suggests these fears are justified. It finds people who recall having plenty of free time during childhood enjoy high levels of social success as adults.

A team of three psychologists from the University of Hildesheim, led by Werner Greve, conducted a survey of 134 people. Participants were presented with a list of seven statements and reported the degree to which they conformed with their own childhood experiences that is, ages three to 10.

read the rest of the article via The Value of Unstructured Play Time for Kids – Pacific Standard: The Science of Society.