Playing is a time of exploration, testing limitations and transcending possibilities. It is a moment where children get to enjoy their differences and create a world where everyone is on equal ground. When children play, everyone becomes a valued participant.
A Note from the Wise
These words of wisdom, gleaned from the observations of important individuals in the history about play, are also acknowledged by playground designers through observation and experience.
Veteran playground designer Gunter Beltzig believes that a playground should have a room for exploration. For him, a playground is much like a theatre stage that offers a chance for discovery and interpretation. After all, children use their imagination when they play.
Designers also understand that playtime is a necessity. As American editorial photographer Steve McCurry notes on his blog, “No matter how dire the situation, how dangerous the environment, children need to play…their world of make believe is almost as important as food and shelter.”
Rules for a Playground Design
Wouldn’t it be great if all playgrounds in the world are suitable for children? What makes a suitable playground design for children?
First, it has to make kids linger. In fact, this is the first rule in designing the perfect playground. It must neither look like a training ground or a landscape made to suite an adult’s taste.
Second, a playground must also cater to children’s differences. More aggressive children will always try to prove their dominance. A playground should provide a way for these kids to expend their energy, but not at the expense of the weaker ones. A solution to that is to avoid having one dominant structure when it comes to playground design, as Moduplay.com.au notes.
Lastly, a playground must provide ways for retreating without making a child feel unaccepted. One way to do this is to provide alternatives when playing.
Play is a universal activity; it is a need of every kid around the world. As such, design a playground that provides an enjoyable experience for children.