The Lamplighter School, Dallas, Texas, USA - 2023




The Lamplighter School set out to create a unique, educational playground for its 470 students. On a mission to promote that special child-like sense of wonder that kids possess, they recruited MONSTRUM to design an imaginative playscape full of playful learning opportunities. The result is an expansive playground spanning several separate areas linked together by the common theme of the wonderful garden. 

The playground comprises the wondering earthworm and playhouses, a double dandelion zip slide, multiple cloud swings and the majestic mother tree - a gigantic play structure-cum-classroom complete with an accessible ramp.

The colourful playground is very popular among the school's pupils, staff and parents and is a valuable addition to the school, providing loads of learning opportunities through play.

Kids playing on huge wooden tree playground structure

There are so many fun ways to play on and in the huge mother tree! 


The interior classroom of wooden tree play equipment

The interior of the tree is designed to be used as a classroom facility. Once classes are over, you can zoom down the tube slide!

Venstre kolonne
Girl sitting studying in giant tree sculpture

The tree is a pleasant, relaxing space for individual quiet study.

Højre kolonne
Teacher and a school class in huge wooden tree structure

The structure is also built with space for many students and teachers at once, with incorporated seating.


One of the main goals for this project was to create innovative, versatile spaces for learning, whether that be for a whole class or individuals. We designed The Mother Tree to serve as an educational setting that incorporates fun play features and integrated seating in an engaging environment. The large open space inside the tree comfortably accommodates an entire class and teacher but also provides a great space for more reflective, solitary learning and play.

The wooden structure itself brings warmth to the interior, creating a pleasant environment for learning. Wood is known to have a positive effect on our health and well-being - who wouldn't want to do their homework perched on a warm wooden bench inside a giant tree! The imagination can run wild here!

visualisation of Mother tree teaching room and play structure
Venstre kolonne
Three school girls looking out through window in huge tree playground structure

The tree is almost 7 meters tall making it a pretty good vantage point!

Højre kolonne
Girls climbing on giant wooden firefly at playground

Climb and clamber up the larger-than-life fireflies.

Kids playing on rolling beam playground feature

Test out your balance skills on the rolling log!

Aerial view of The Lamplighter School playground


Wooden earthworm ampitheatre playground structure with kids playing on it

The tail-end of the earthworm is fun to climb on and serves as a seating area that can be used in school classes also.

Huge wooden earthworm playground feature

The curious worm is sticking its head up from the ground - take a look inside it, there's plenty to explore!

Aerial view of wooden earthworm structure and wooden playhouses at Lamplighter School playground

The classic play houses are always a fun, familiar addition to any playscape.


Exploratory, challenging play in which kids practice risk appraisal contributes to kids building resilience, coping skills, and autonomy.

Risky play nurtures the development of body and spatial awareness as kids test the possibilities and limitations of their bodies and their environment. They learn to face and overcome fear and win their own victories - big or small. Simultaneously, children are developing social-emotional skills as they are faced with handling change, uncertainty, and even disappointment when things don't turn out the way they had expected.

Risk-promoting playgrounds are essentially labs of hands-on exploration for kids as they experiment and learn within a controlled environment.


Read more about play & learning here

Kids playing at worm play structure in school playground


Kids swinging on cloud swing at playground

The cloud swings are a great social feature as many kids can play simultaneously.

Two girls holding hangs on zip slide at school playground

Race your friends on the double dandelion zip slide!

Kids running into tunnel through hillside at playground

Climb in through the rabbit hole - a tunnel leading from one side of the hill to the other.

Kids playing on huge worm structure at playground

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