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Little children are busy bodies. Literally!

Updated: Jun 27, 2019

by Keith Struthers, architect


Running, jumping, climbing, swinging, skipping…and from a developmental perspective this is exactly what children should be doing because physical dexterity in youth becomes mental dexterity in later life. The outward mobility the child enjoys morphs into the conceptual liveliness and fertile creativity of the adolescent, which further matures into the subtlety and nuancing of thoughts and insights of the adult.


The ideal environment to encourage and stretch our children’s natural desire to move is one that embodies these very qualities, this feeling for motion and dynamism. A kindergarten building that reflects in its very shapes and surfaces this propensity for movement, as opposed to static regular shapes, meets the inner disposition and longing of the child. Sensing the dynamism around it the child immediately feels at home, and feels encouraged to move. This happens because the child’s outer environment mirrors its internal developmental need. A built environment that embodies a lively sense of movement is ironically the solid foundation a child requires for its future.


In contrast to this exuberance activity is also the necessity for a sense of being held, of being safe, of feeling integral to a family and community. The circle space and embracing forms of the building reinforce this deep sense of belonging in the world, of being quietly held in an atmosphere of reverence, of being a vital participant in the social circle of life.


The design of Robins Nest kindergarten embodies and integrates these polar opposite needs of the child, that of movement and that of belonging. And done in an aesthetically refined and elegant way. This building exemplifies the intrinsic needs of our children at this vital and delicate stage of their natural development. If we want our children to have the best possible opportunity to cultivate the capacity to be creatively and mentally prepared for their futures’ we need to make the effort to achieve this, now.

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