If you're tired of your mum telling you not to jump into puddles, head over to Japan. There they might actually encourage you do the opposite.
Youji No Shiro, an architecture, interior and furniture design firm for children, designed an inspiring building in Kumamoto City, called the Dai-Ichi Yochien preschool. It's creative, it's eco-friendly and the children just love it.
In the middle of the preschool building is a kind of an artyard, an open, bright space for various activities that turns into a very special, natural playground once the rain starts to fall. The yard is constructed as a very shallow vessel for collecting rainwater and turning it into one huge puddle of fun. During winter time they convert it into an ice-skating ring, but it also doubles as a sportsyard, when the days are warm and dry.
The kindergarten's aim is to encourage mixing and social interaction between the children of different ages and classes, enabling teachers as well to do more creative things for their pupils. Running and playing in the puddles is a perfect example of a joint activity, enabling children to develop creative thinking and social skills, while doing a little bit of fun exercise.
So, where do we sign in?