Children’s spaces are incredibly important. Young people need space to play, to learn, to make mistakes, and to form friendships – away from the confines of school and home. In light of the recent lockdown, it seems more important now than ever before to cherish and create more spaces for kids, to help them learn and grow together in your local community. This article is aimed at school administrators, local politicians, and other stakeholders who’re considering building a children’s space in their area, suggesting how you should go about this project sensitively and wisely.
The fundamental principle of all playgrounds and spaces for kids is safety. If you’re not able to create a safe space for kids to play in, you’re simply not going to see parents taking their kids to that space. In actual fact, when you’re creating children’s spaces, you will have to undergo rigorous safety and hazard perception tests before it’s opened to the general public. That way, you’ll be able to understand what risks will be posed by kids’ play in your new space – and what you can do to mitigate those risks.
Another important aspect of your plan is the location of your kids’ space. Will you be locating it in a local park, or between municipal buildings? Do you have big plans for your schoolyard, or will this be an area in the center of the city that all families can relax and play within? Different locations require different levels of security and different sizes of space – which necessitates different budgets. Wherever you choose to locate your new playground or children’s space, make sure that it’s accessible to the kids who will want to play there – and, of course, their parents.
Types of Space
When you picture a kids’ space, you’re likely to think of a traditional playground. You’ll have some form of soft floor covering – whether rubber or wood chips – and you’ll build a set of swings and other such apparatus for kids to play on. While these options are always a good bet, they’re not the only choices you have. For instance, you could create a small artificial turf playground for sports or for relaxing amongst the green. You could create a garden for relaxing and exploring in, planted with all manner of plants. Or you could create the space for games like basketball and netball, too.
Finally, when you’re building a new play area for kids, you’re providing a public service that will be much appreciated in your local community. Nonetheless, there are still several responsibilities – towards the welfare of the children who use your facility – which you’ll have to take into account. Will there need to be a supervisor at the space at all times? How often should you check the space for signs of emerging hazards? And what should you do if a child is hurt in your play area? You need answers to these questions before you set out in earnest to create your kids’ space.
There you have it: four essential tips to help you build a space for children in the outside world this year.