When my daughter was in half-day school, I’d often come early and catch her still at recess. She couldn’t see me, but I could watch from afar, and get a little glimpse at her first taste of independence. I’d see her play patty cake with her friends, toss a ball, giggle with her pals, and go down the slide. It’s a few years later, and it’s still the same, only with bigger risks and louder laughs — and it’s still a treat to watch her magical time in the playground.
Award-winning photographer James Mollison knows what I’m talking about. He beautifully captures photos of schools around the world in his book, Playground.
Photographed in the UK, China, Kenya, India, Tokyo, Russia, as well the United States, his pictures help identify both similarities and diversity in each country’s approach to play.
We’ve chosen to feature six images of schools that are very different in terms of their resources, green space, and size, but that all have one very important thing in common; they all show how kids truly come alive in the playground.
1. Adolfo López Mateos Primary School, Mexico City
2. Freretown Community Primary School, Mombasa, Kenya
3. St. Mary of the Assumption Elementary School, Brookline, Mass
4. Wen Chong Primary School, Qingyuan, China
5. School #2013, Moscow
6. Warren Lane Elementary, Inglewood, California
Do you have a favourite? Tell us in the comments section below, or on Facebook or Twitter.