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Knowledge about the nature of children’s preferred play space

Danish Landscape Architect, Helle Nebelong, discusses her opinion on natural play space.

In the article Nebelong says public playgrounds are an important area for children’s development. It is a stage in the children’s life where they are able to express themselves in different ways and let their personality grow. This is why it is important to involve children’s ideas on the play spaces and always have them in mind. Nebelong mentions that children have many distractions, like TV or computer, therefore the play space needs to be attractive. Children long to be pushed physically, psychologically and socially in their place of play.

In regards to the safety issue of a play space Nebelong says “I am convinced that ‘risk-free’ standardised playgrounds are dangerous – just in another way from those with obvious risks. When the distance between all the rungs in a climbing net or a ladder is exactly the same, the child has no need to concentrate on where he puts his feet”.

Helle’s recommendations to people designing play spaces are:

  • Try to forget your grown-up ideas and approaches and don’t trust your imagination of what is good for children!
  • Watch children play and listen to their desires.
  • Try to incorporate the desires of the children into the design of the play space.
  • Think of children and youngsters as a collection of individuals, with different needs depending on their age and abilities.
  • Think of your own childhood. Where did you like to play? What was the most exciting experience you had? Did you miss anything?
  • Make it aesthetic and use only good and durable materials.
  • Plant a lot of different plants to make the space change character during the year

Photo Credit: Photo by Brandon Couch

Full article here:

Author: Steven Don

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