Show kids how to play in a healthy Amsterdam

A new online book shows how ‘healthy play’ in Amsterdam can shape the futures of children growing up and playing in the city.

Spelen In De Stad / Playing in the City is designed to show how children use play areas, and contains ‘knowledge, inspiration and concrete suggestions’ aimed at helping make the Dutch capital a city which invites all people to ‘play and move’.

‘Opens dialogue between disciplines’

Authors Berte Daan and Karin Peeters, who have made the book available in Dutch and English, say it opens the dialogue between disciplines such as teachers and designers, and that it might surprise people ‘with the conversations it triggers’.

It says that Amsterdam is a place where around 170,000 children grow up, make friends, learn to ride a bike, build their first hut, break their leg, go to school, and so on. “A significant part of these experiences is gained in public space,” it adds.

“However, children are much less visible in the street scene than before. Developments like pre-school education, child care, the attraction of computer and TV screens, and a sense with the parents of not being safe, limit the presence of city children in public space.”

‘We only have to look to children for inspiration’

Daan and Peters pose the question: “Do we, as adults, wish to acknowledge the power of public space, and start moving and exercising more ourselves, then we only have to look at the way children play for inspiration. This inspiration is what this publication aims to offer everyone who is professionally engaged with the topic of play and exercise in public space. It shows the whole city can be a playground, now and into the future.”

The book can be viewed and downloaded here.

Author: Simon Weedy

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