The Bogin Playscape Project has been active since 2010, building indoor playgrounds and toys that are donated to community child care centers. We have completed and donated four indoor playgrounds for Early intervention and school programs in Western Massachusetts. Hundreds of wooden toys have also been built and donated to schools and child care centers locally and in the Boston area. Additional playgrounds are planned for 2022 and beyond.
The project began in September 2011 with the start of a seminar with a small group of students from Smith College and Springfield College. Our project goals were varied, and included ;
• Exploring the “state of play” among pre-school children, both locally and more globally
• How has the world of opportunities for active play for young children changed in recent years? What are the factors influencing those changes?
• How does the opportunity for active play and movement influence overall development and readiness of pre-school children to learn and succeed?
• What kinds of simple games and activities can be used with pre-school children to encourage and develop these crucial foundation motor skills
We are focusing on designs for indoor play areas in order to offer children more opportunities to move each day, regardless of the weather or any other factors that keep children indoors. While outdoor play is crucial, and should be part of every day routines for young kids, there is also a need for play equipment that can be used indoors, and allows children to move and explore beyond the limited outdoor playtimes provided each day. Rather than designing large indoor playgrounds, we work to develop a more modular system, with smaller pieces that can be combined in different ways to fit into existing spaces that may not have room for an indoor playground.
The Bogin Playscape Project was founded to honor the memory of Nancy Bogin (1921-2009) an extraordinary early childhood educator and mentor for many. This project has partnered with the Collaborative for Educational Services in Northampton, MA as we grow and continue to seek grants and support to fulfill our mission.
We are grateful for this help!
Tom Murphy- founder- Bogin Playscape Project
Toys and Playgrounds!!
I am pleased to finally have video footage of children using one of the indoor playgrounds. I wish to thank the staff and families of the Center School in Greenfield, MA for allowing this video to be used on the website.
The “Bottle Baby” Truck lets kids lift and carry around bottles, and push and pull the truck around
The ball ramp lets kids set up a long ramp for rolling balls or small cars
Jameson Cunneen pulling a bottle baby truck
Our first playground for REACH Early Intervention Program in Amherst, MA was completed in 2014. It was inspired by a generous grant received from Steven Salky and Gail Ifshin. They have been enjoying their first grandson, Jameson, and the first playground was built and named “Jameson’s Playground” in his honor.
It features a platform swing, slide, “bottle baby” ramp and truck, and places to climb, as well as some fine motor block games with wood blocks.
Thanks to Jameson Cunneen who generously showed us how to play! And special thanks to his parents, Chris Cunneen and Jesseca Salky, for letting us post these pictures of their wonderful boy.
This is the first playground now installed at the REACH Early Intervention Program in Amherst, MA
In January 2015 we added a new game for helping develop visual skills. Helen Murphy painted a series of wonderful animal blocks, and they are hidden around the playscape. The children choose an animal block (tiger, lion, giraffe, elephant, monkey, zebra) from a small shelf and then search around the room for the matching animal. Thanks to Helen for her wonderful artwork!!
PLAYGROUND #2- “Christine’s Playground” – REACH Early Intervention- Northampton-2019
This playground for the REACH Early Intervention Program was built to honor Christine Sharkey, and her long career as a pediatric physical therapist at Cooley Dickinson Hospital. Every hospital, school or strong community organization has special people who form the heart and soul of the place, and Christine has played that role for Cooley Dickinson. While she has never sought attention for herself, and consciously avoids the spotlight, she has been an inspiration and mentor for so many others who have worked with children in rehabilitation. Those of us who have been around her understand how important a role she has played over so many years. Christine’s work has stood as an example for every positive value a community hospital tries to uphold. She is a collaborator, a listener, and holds onto the joy that comes to those of us lucky enough to work with children every day. I am proud to have worked with her, and I hope her spirit and energy is reflected in the opportunity for fun and playful exploration this playground provides for the children.
Playground # 3- Charlie’s Playground- North Adams, MA- 2021
This indoor playground for the Northern Berkshire Early intervention Program was built in honor of Charles V Parham (1945-2019). Charlie and his wife Roxy Schneider have been supporters of this building project for children right from the start. Our first big fund raiser was a music party hosted at their home in 2012, that raised substantial funds to get the project going. After Charlie’s untimely passing, his family announced that they would like donations in Charlie’s memory to be sent to the project, and that generosity has funded this playground. This funding means we will have materials to keep building into the future. I am so thankful to Charlie’s family for giving me the opportunity to build and donate in Charlie’s name. Charlie dedicated his working life to education and loved to play! He was a wise, kind and generous friend and is sorely missed by all who knew him!!
This is wonderful! So many families will be able to enjoy your craftsmanship! Thank you
Hi Tom- Ted sent me the to this site after discussing the history of your musical collaboration on a ride home from an Orrin Evans performance. This is impressive work and that’s coming from a lifelong woodworker . Back in the late 70’s my wife worked at the infant care center at UMass.
I made some basic equipment for that center and the one at Smith College. Always was rewarding to see it in use.
Thanks for the kind words- I am not very tech savvy about the website, so I just saw your comment this morning- also had a nice article in the Gazette yesterday – here’s a link
Sat and watched these children play, realizing how little I know about children at this age, since I am neither a parent nor am early childhood teacher. Fascinating to watch how the playscape encourages their exploration, and how they approach interactions. Really fun to watch!