Participatory design processes often require participants to think and act creatively. This can be difficult for some people, making the experience of participation frustrating or embarrassing. How do we help people envision beyond what they have experienced? How can we encourage people who are intimidated by drawing to create? This paper describes two important stages in a participatory design process that has been in development for the past five years. The first stage involves looking at pictures in order to foster constructive and sustained exchanges regarding the outdoor environment. The second stage involves clay work where participants begin to explore design ideas for their environment. The environments are typically parks or outdoor play areas at schools and childcare centers. Examples are drawn from projects in Canada and the United States, and they involve adults and children.