So what did you do when you were six? I played with Legos, watched a TV show called 3-2-1 Contact, and ate Trix cereal. That was pretty much my day-to-day. But this fearless child is on a road less traveled. His name is Enal and he lives with an Indonesian fishing community known as the Bajau Laut. In this photo captured by James Morgan, he swims with sharks in a penned off area underneath his home that rests on stilts in Wangi, Indonesia. Via the photographer’s web site:
Whilst few young children are now born on boats, the ocean is still very much their playground and whilst they are getting conflicted messages from their communities, who simultaneously refrain from spitting in the ocean and continue to dynamite its reefs, I still believe they could play a crucial role in the development of western marine conservation practices. Here Enal plays with his pet shark.
The next time I tense up watching my three-year-old son do something audacious in the park or walk out “too far” into the deeper end of the swimming pool, I think this image will seriously put things into perspective. Time to get some pet sharks. The photograph won the Telegraph’s 2010 Travel Photographer of the Year award. Seriously, look at that smile! (via lustik)
Check out these totally gorgeous torpedo scooters designed by Jerry Koza over at Prague Art & Design. While the form-factor and paint jobs are completely stunning, the paranoid dad in me puts the overall safety rating of these things on par with Jarts, at least in a hilly or mountainous area. Anyway, the hefty price tag will probably keep the majority of kids from ever hurling 90mph down a steep hill strapped to a $1,100 projectile with wheels. (via lustik and kickcan & conkers)
PLAMA Marble Run 2D is a magnetic marble game for both children and adults designed by Swiss firm Bernhard | Burkhard. The entire set consists of 12 magnetic planes that can be rearranged on a vertical surface resulting in a subtle groove that can be traversed by a marble. Via their web site:
There are thousand ways to create an individual path for the marble that can be reorganised shortly. […] Plama may help to develop creativity and logical thinking. It can increase the understanding of two dimensional space and proportion. Using the outline of the shapes to build a well-functioning marble run is an easy way to focus on complex thinking. Marble run 2d has been produced in Switzerland in a first limited edition and is available in selected stores or on request.
When I was a kid we were lucky to have a stick, an old car tire, and and on a really good day maybe some mud. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that, and there’s nothing wrong with this incredible play structure, either. The Knit Fort is a gorgeous playspace created by Matt Ganon Studio. The carefully interlinked walls allow for a flexible, organic form that can be pushed and pulled to create new shapes and spaces.
The assembly technique, similar to knitting, allows the addition or subtraction of columns responding to the site context without altering the design. Depending on the scale, the surface can remain elastic allowing the occupant to manipulate and deform the profile. The shape can be expanded or contracted to alter the apertures of the space. The participatory aspect of the surface prolongs the process of creation and allows fine tuning the boundary of the space.
If I was a kid this would cease being a fort and quickly become a permanent residence. (via ok great)
Is Dr. Seuss still alive, hiding out in Sweden, working as an urban planner? Not quite. The puckelball pitch made of artificial turf is a design concept by artist Johan Strom, who created this field in Malmö, Sweden as a metaphor for life:
“Many live under the belief that life is a fair playing field, that both pitch halves are just as big and the goal always has at least one cross. But ultimately the ball never bounces exactly where you want it to and the pitch is both bumpy and uneven.”
The rolling landscape of the field is meant to inspire imaginative play and to encourage fair competition between skilled and unskilled players, young and old, boys and girls. It was nominated in the Making Space 2010 competition that gives prizes to the best architectural and designed spaces for children. Every city in the world should be lucky enough to have a field like this. (via playscapes)
The Unruly Alphabet, deftly illustrated by Aaron McKinney. This strikes me as a book that childless people with a great sense of humor would purchase and gift to their nieces and nephews, who would then execute to a T, everything depicted within the book on their parents after one reading. Or maybe that’s just my kid.