Let Them Lead The Way

“I believe the children are our future

Teach them well and let them lead the way

Show them all the beauty they possess inside

Give them a sense of pride to make it easier…”

– Whitney Houston

IMG_2890 - Version 2In a population of 3.4 million people, I am amazed at how this city is designed. The urban areas are surrounded by so much greenery that I sometimes forget that I am in a large city. As we make our way to Prenzlauer Berg, an area that boasts “greying hipsters and yoga mamas” as the Lonely Planet puts it, we stumble upon a playground that is hosting a Fall Festival/Herbstfest.

Unsure what is going on, we take a peek. I can smell campfire and am enjoying it already. At first glance, it appears to be s’mores. In actuality, children are baking dough on a stick. They sit patiently as they enjoy the outdoors with their peer group and prepare to have something warm and delicious to eat.IMG_2885 - Version 2We find out that it’s called the Adventure Playground or “Abenteuerspielplatz” for 6 – 16 year olds. It’s encouraged that parents “step back” and sit in “the parents corner” by the entrance to allow the children to play freely. Other adults known as pedagogues can assist the children if they need. There is a hut area, a fire-pit, a tree house, live animals and various building workshops that include pottery, wood and garden tools so kids can learn how to develop creativity. I hear children hammering nails. I think they are helping build a section of the treehouse.

IMG_2891 - Version 2There is also a giant wooden swing made for sitting or standing hung between two large trees, a water-playground, a sand pit, a rock climbing area, rehearsal room for music and an old sunken car repurposed for exploring. Kids can learn how to start a fire, cook a meal or simply play in the sand pit. Amazing outdoor play opportunities for children in the heart of the neighborhood. What a great concept!IMG_2901 - Version 2Down the street is a market. Oh, how I love the sense of community within a market – kind of like a playground for adults. Such a nice concept too! Don’t you agree?

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