If you’re currently in the throes of preschool registration (‘tis the season!), the applications you’re buried under should entitle you to a participation trophy. Instead, all you get is the shame that comes from asking an administrator to “take this outside.” According to an innovative idea from Italy, you and the administrator might both be pleasantly surprised if you did — it turns out the biggest problem with most preschools might be the bricks in the wall.
Recently, a team of Rome-based designers won an architecture competition with a proposal to turn traditional preschools into a full-fledged farms. The plan itself builds on past research that found children are more likely to pay attention to animals than toys (incidentally, you might want to print and hang that report above your kid’s mountain of possessions as a reminder to get a dog). Farm-preschools wouldn’t just help keep kids focused, but healthy as well. Another study shows that children who garden are more likely to eat vegetables, especially if that means they get to play with dirt first.
After winning the competition, the designers discovered that this type of school already exists in Norway, because of course it does. But that doesn’t mean you should expect to see them popping up around you any time soon — implementation, particularly in U.S. cities — would be a regulatory nightmare. Also, it would be pain to keep the hipsters out.
In meantime, maybe you should devote some of your own real estate to a garden. In addition to sparking your kid’s intellect, it’s been known to chill adults out, which is something your preschool administrator thinks you could use.
[H/T] Fast Company