Asking the experts reaps rewards
Thursday 14 May 2009
A key dimension to the success of the new play
spaces resulting from the government's £235m investment programme
is the involvement of children and young people right from the
Children from Ray Lodge Primary School had a key role in
choosing the new equipment at the refurbished playground in Ray
Park, South Woodford. We asked three children what they
Gemma commented: "I thought of the spider swing and the giant
boulders...I think the new playground is a huge success, everyone
Bazahir had a say in the installation of tunnels and a bridge.
He explained: "You can have a lot of fun with bridges; you can
pretend there is a troll beneath it. I am happy with the way it
came out, especially as it's also for disabled people too."
Rahul was keen to include challenge and risk. He said: "I
contributed to the five-metre rope tower and the rock-climbing
wall. I love all of these things because they give you a feeling of
Ray Park is a fantastic example of what can be achieved when the
experts of play - the children themselves - are consulted at an
early stage. To ensure other new sites are equally successful, Play
England and Participation Works are producing a guide on how to
involve children in the design and development of play spaces. The
guide, featuring case studies and tips on how to include children
at every stage of the design cycle, will be published in June.