-The importance of play
-How to design a play space with the right design and equipment and
-How to make it safe but not too safe (thats right, playgrounds can be too safe).
1) The first 2 links are involved with designing your playground with the right things in mind and making it safe.
Play England have put together this booklet that looks at lots of pertinent issues and things to think about when putting a play space together. If you are thinking about building a playground then this is a good place to start. A great reference on playgrounds safety is found across the seas in the US. America publishes their safety standards for free and they can be downloaded here for free by anyone. What you do on your private property is your business but if you are building a playground anywhere for kids that aren’t yours its a good idea to get familiar with the commonly accepted standards even if they don’t apply in the country you are planning to build in. We don’t want any child to be seriously injured or worse when playing.
2) The links here are also worth reading to get a grip on what play is, and why we have bothered putting so much energy into making places to encourage it. This is a Play statement from the Association of Childrens Education International (ACEI) it is the most concise paper we have found that brings together all the ideas of what play is and why it needs protecting. Also, Here is a Paper from an excellent organisation making some bold statements in the tricky world of litigation we now live in. It is on the fine balance between making a playground safe and going too far so that the playground no longer fulfills its function as a good place for children to play. This is really an important document for anyone interested in play to read.
Lastly, this is a manual written by James A Jolley (AKA Jimmy). Sadly, Jimmy has now Passed on but he also had some very similar ideas to GoPlay! about what a playground should be and that it need not be expensive. Before he died, Jimmy wrote a manual that was never published. Some friends of his have now put it online to be shared which is very generous of them. please have a look at Jimmys designs here.
After literally years of searching, we believe these documents will give you a very good grounding in the issues, the joy and the Importance of play in childrens lives worldwide. We look forward to hearing from you about you plans to get involved in the world of Play.