An Uncommon Playground

I finally got to visit the play area on the Common in Cambridge, Massachusetts – A superbly-designed space with hills, custom wooden structures, sand and water play areas, logs, plants, and other fun and unusual components. It includes many elements that help define a successful playground – one modeled on natural features that fosters imaginative, open-ended play. Although there weren’t many children there when I visited (likely due to cold weather and other plans on Easter Sunday), I could tell that the playground is well-used and loved, with sand tracked all over the place!
 
Cambridge Common Playground 1
A challenging wooden climber
 
Cambridge Common Playground 2
Sand play station
 
Cambridge Common Playground 3
Swings, plants, rocks, and a wheelchair-accessible merry-go-round
 
Cambridge Common Playground 4
Climbing net on a hillside
 
Cambridge Common Playground 5
A custom wooden structure, slide, and tunnel
 
Cambridge Common Playground 6
Water play station (too cold in March for the water to be turned on yet)
 
Cambridge Common Playground 7
One of several attractive custom wooden benches
 
Cambridge Common Playground 8
Custom wooden picnic table and seats
 
Cambridge Common Playground 9
Sculptural entry gate
 
Cambridge Common Playground 10
Logs provide a balance challenge
 
Cambridge Common Playground 11
Wooden “ship”
 
Cambridge Common Playground 12
Double slide embedded in a mound
 
Photos by Alice Webb

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