As social and entertainment vectors converge to make our children more sedentary and in most urban and suburban areas, the amount of natural green space continues to decline, we now need to work harder at creating desirable places for our children and youth to play outside. Studies show that access to green space, especially more natural space, has a wide range of benefits for children including better school performance, better social relations and more ecological empathy.
Here are several great guides for designing children’s play spaces:
- Designing landscapes for young children – This guide by Evergreen offers a great approach to designing places for young children and its links to physical, social, emotional and cognitive development. http://www.evergreen.ca/downloads/pdfs/Landscape-Child-Development.pdf
- A guide for designing inspired play spaces – This UK guide offers great insights and ideas for creating excellent play spaces for children. http://www.playengland.org.uk/media/70684/design-for-play.pdf
- Nature Play and Learning Places – this great guide from the National Wildlife Federation offers excellent advice on designing outdoor places for children. http://natureplayandlearningplaces.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Nature-Play-Learning-Places_v1.2_Sept22.pdf
(image: Space2Place’s great playground design for the Simon Fraser University’s Daycare)