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Free-Range Playgrounds Let Kids Manage Their Own Risk

Free-range public playgrounds are emerging as an alternative to structured play dates, allowing school-aged kids a space to play — really play.

Pre-K teacher Josefina Pineda teaches her students the concept of "push" by having them join hands and push back and forth in her classroom at the Dallas Independent School District elementary school Cesar Chavez Learning Center in 2013.

Free-range public playgrounds are emerging as an alternative to structured play dates, allowing school-aged kids a space to play — really play. Such parks feature recycled materials, as well as plenty of dirt and tools for bringing structural and artistic ideas to life. Although there are only a few in the United States, there are many more in Europe, and developmental psychologists call the “managed risk” a critical part of childhood learning. (NPR)

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