Learn to design playgrounds that are first and foremost functional and of value to children; but also aesthetic, safe, visually acceptable to the community and appropriate in all other ways.
Safety is important of course. No one wants to put children in danger, but accidents do occur anywhere, and eliminating accidents can also restrict child development. This is one of many things that you learn to understand in this course. The following points should be taken into account:
- Give careful consideration to the design and build of a playground which obviously is not going to be maintained.
- Overcrowding of moving equipment (such as swings or seesaws) invites accidents.
- Consider the likely movement of children and avoid collision points (e.g. a swing should not move across the path along which children run. It may be necessary to put some fence or barrier around the swing).
- Give careful consideration to surfaces - an impact force of 500 (50 times the force of gravity) will have the potential to cause concussion in a child. The table below will give some guide to selecting the surfacing materials:
Good design will minimise risk of accidents; bad design will minimise opportunity for childhood experiences.
There are eight lessons in this unit as follows:
1. Overview of Parks & Playgrounds
2. Playground Philosophy
3. Preparing a Concept Plan
5. Park & Playground Structures and Materials
6. Local and Neighbourhood Parks
7. Community Participation In Park Development
8. Special Assignment.
- Determine the procedure to plan a park development, including a playground and other facilities.
- Prepare a concept plan for a park or playground.
- Assess the design of park components, including materials and equipment used in parks and playgrounds.
- Determine appropriate design characteristics for a local or neighbourhood parks.
- Determine legal implications involved in the design of a playground.
- Design facilities to cater for movement throughout a park or playground.
- Manage appropriate community participation in development of a park or playground.
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