Thoughts of play
How do you recognise play and playfulness? And what do children perceive as being play? What makes children play? In this blog, I will try to answer these questions backing up my ideas with research done in Finland and abroad.
A young child’s expanding sense of initiative is often observed within their curiosity, exploration and very active behaviour. Play is a natural component of a child’s everyday life and assists the child to make sense of his or her world, and learn about their bodies and movement capabilities. Children’s activities typically incorporates vigorous physical components, and is motivated through an inate drive to play, therefore it may be called as a physically active play.
New requirements for sports and recreational areas
Playgrounds and fitness sites are increasingly perceived as a single coherent entity. And rightly so, because as children grow older, play develops into other types of physical activity. By the time they reach adulthood, they have hopefully adopted a lifestyle in which physical exercise plays an important part.
Designing playground for a wide user group
It’s easy to distinguish a kids’ playground from a outdoor fitness site. However, designers tend to prefer that the area serves a wide range of users. Often the sites provide playground equipment for children and fitness equipment for adults. While it is fully possible to prepare a creative plan for such a site, it’s important to follow a few ground rules.
Designed for children
When a designer is assigned to plan a playground, what do they consider first? Quite honestly: the money and the space available. In the worst case, the design process little else than fitting the playground equipment in place and calculating the costs. But is this good enough? No, nowhere near, but sadly this is how playground designers often tend to work.
If you google the phrase “street workout” you will get more than 117 million hits. Street workout is a type of physical activity that has rapidly become a popular pastime of choice and is gaining new fans around the world.