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A Kindergarten Designed to Let Kids Be Kids

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This kindergarten in Tokyo tries to give kids as much freedom and space for movement as possible, while still keeping them safe. (Takaharu Tezuka/TED)

Architect Takaharu Tezuka observes that "children love running in circles." That's why he designed this Tokyo kindergarten in the round, with a roof that is basically one big running track, but low enough so kids can easily be seen from the ground. In this TED talk, Tezuka describes how he and his colleagues tried to get inside the minds of children to create a space that would spark learning, not happen in spite of it.

Tezuka observes when you put children in quiet boxes "some of them become very nervous" and try to hide or act out. At this school, there are no walls between classrooms and children who need to move can wander off if the mood strikes them. Teachers don't worry because they'll always find their way back -- it is a circle, after all.

This delightfully funny talk emphasizes how design can promote the playful, fun-loving, movement-filled learning spaces that nurture young children.


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