Puddle Jumpers

This preschool in Japan is all about play. Instead of keeping kids cooped up inside during rainstorms and chastising them for jumping in puddles, this school encourages it! The Dai-ichi Yochien school in Kumamoto City is designed around a central courtyard that forms a giant puddle whenever it rains. On dry days, it becomes an open space for recess games, and can even be converted into an ice skating rink in the winter. We also love this school for its clean, simple design lines and open air floor plan, encouraging a flexible, exploration-fueled, and imagination-inspiring curriculum. Visit lead architect Hibino Sekkei’s website to learn more about this and other innovative school projects.