February 10, 2018


Hudson Lab School is proud to be part of the growing adventure playground movement. Modeled after a junkyard, adventure playgrounds allow kids to teach themselves and control the content and direction of their play. The adults stand back.

I first learned about adventure playgrounds in an article entitled "The Overprotected Kid" in The Atlantic. As someone inspired by Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, the idea of a junkyard teeming with kids exploring the extreme edges of safety made me cringe. Overriding that feeling, however, was sadness for what our overprotected kids have lost: The thrill of being left alone to explore the world and lead their own messy adventures. 

Hudson Lab School’s adventure playground—known as our Wild Playspace—was made possible thanks to Bobby and Sandro who felled a leaning tree and John McCann-Doyle, a playworker from Governors Island’s play:ground who hung a fabric swing, buried stumps in the ground, and left a variety of fun and fanciful loose parts. Last term, our students added a tipi, a cafe kitchen, a book nook and a pallet swing that they designed and built themselves.

More than just the physical space, we give kids the time to play because play is serious business. Play is vital to a child’s development. It boosts cognition and concentration, and according to the World Economic Forum, play equips children “with the skills necessary to tackle humanity’s future, such as emotional intelligence, creativity and problem solving. To be a superhero is to lead; to host a teddy for tea is to organize; to build a fort is to innovate: to play is to learn.”

So every day in rain, shine, or snow, our kids head outside for a quick mindfulness meeting and an hour of play with our kind-hearted playworker Mo who trusts them, watches their progress and learning, and supports their play without intervening.


Berk Ilhan, our artist-in-residence, is a product and experience designer who is passionate about creating joyful experiences through design. His design recipe involves rigorous primary research, holistic system modeling, latent need identification, participatory design, empathy, play, minimalism, and chasing wild dreams by pushing against accustomed constraints. We couldn't have found a better fit or nicer person to help us design and prototype our simple solutions. Yay for Berk!
Upcoming Events


Open House on Feb 13

Come learn about Hudson Lab School, the benefits of Project-Based Learning (PBL) for every kind of learner, and why our students love school! Register here.

Most Likely to Succeed Screening on Mar 1

We're screening Most Likely to Succeed, “the best film ever done on the topic of school — both its past and its future.” Hear what leading education experts have to say, learn about project-based learning, and follow the students of High Tech High as they take command of their own learning and develop self-agency. Register here.

Summer Camp
Sign up for Camp Hudson for an amazingly fun summer experience of tinkering, nature and tech! Register before March 1 for an early bird discount. Choose any weeks between June 25 - August 17.
Register for Summer Camp
The Week in Photos
What We're Listening To
Let the kids learn about recess by listening to this fun and educational podcast Wow in the World with Guy Raz and Mindy Thomas.
Let the adults learn about play by listening to Guy Raz' other educational podcast TED Radio Hour.

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Hudson Lab School · 185 Old Broadway · Hastings-on-Hudson, NY 10706 · USA

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp