Landscape design toys for 11 yr olds ?

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    Wyatt Thompson, PLA

    I actually did get the joke; perhaps I chose to respond to it poorly. I disagree that a computer program would be less appropriate than a physical play thing. Immersive gaming can be used to teach area, volume, spatial relationships, and aesthetics. Inexpensive 3D printing makes the virtual world very tangible. There are several programs mentioned that would be simple enough for young people to learn, explore, and use creatively in a fun way. I think any of the ideas mentioned so far could be an appropriate gift; all things in moderation after all.

    Kelli Kammermeyer

    I like your idea about the sandbox – how about some old metal Tonka trucks to move and shape the sand, some water, a bucket. . .


     A good old set of blocks or tangrams is a good place to start. I likeTegu blocks. 

    Other than that I was in the yard digging at that age. 

    This is a very interesting question and I hope others have some unique ideas.

    Goustan BODIN

    Take her out to see places together regularly, like parks, natural places, urban squares etc, and you guys start talking about life. Best gift she can ever get.

    Then when you guys come across a shop, get her the tools Rob said, plastic pots and indoor plants seeds if no garden outside.

    Tanya Olson

    So I guess my initial suggestion of half of an oil drum, a pile of dirt and a bunch of sticks won’t work (random, but those were my first “design” materials)….I LOVED Legos – and they are very popular with my own 11 year old, but NOT as popular as Minecraft (as several others mentioned), which is incredibly 3 dimensional and spatial. My rugrat has designed amazing forested amusement parks with water slides into underground caverns, floating forest islands, whole worlds of landscapes and structures. I don’t like it because of the blockiness, but I suspect its the future of BIM in fledgling form….but of course it only works if the kid has access to an ipad or computer – the ipad version is free, computer version is $30 or something like that. 

    What about a mini Japanese style rock and sand garden? I do like the graph paper and template idea too…How fun and exciting to be able to encourage a young one to design! 

    Goustan BODIN

    Great idea !

    I had so much fun as a kid building small worlds in the woods with my cousins, using twigs, moss, leaves, pines cones, stones, anything we could find, really ! We also loved to build dams on streamlets and related water engineering . . . 

    Looks like someone feels quite nostalgic about these kind of games : The pothole gardener

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