Play equipment and play spaces should be adaptable to all weather use Materials

Play equipment and play spaces should be adaptable to

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Play equipment and play spaces should be adaptable to all weather use. Materials should be able to withstand weather changes and be comfortable and safe under all conditions. For example, the use of steel, for example, would present problems Innovative Play Structures Research Project August, 2001 Page 14
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of being too hot to touch in the summer sun and dangerous to curious, wet, little tongues in winter. At the same time, climbing structures in summer may be adaptable as frameworks for snow houses in winter. Geographically, we can look for opportunities to capitalize on existing conditions. A lookout tower on the Prairies affords a child miles of view, a hill or rock wall in the Shield can be adapted for climbing. Cultural and societal conditions can also present opportunities – adapting traditional games and images and incorporating them into a play space will make it more dynamic and more familiar to children. Communities of mixed cultures can take advantage of education and awareness opportunities in developing their play spaces. An example of using cultural icons and images is evident in a playground being developed for an inner-city Winnipeg school and community centre with a large Aboriginal population. Traditional games and icons are incorporated into the design of the playground. The use of the cardinal colours and traditional layout according to the four directions are inherent in the design. Manitobans are fortunate in our diversity of experiences – climatically, geographically and culturally. These factors should be employed to provide more dynamic and interesting play opportunities for our children. Innovative Play Structures Research Project August, 2001 Page 15
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3.0 INNOVATIVE PLAYGROUNDS: DEFINITIONS & FINDINGS It has become increasingly popular, over the last 10 to 15 years, for schools, daycares and community groups to develop new playgrounds around pre-manufactured play structures. These play structures are well designed and well built but are extremely expensive and provide a limited set of play values and experiences. The recognition of the fact that most groups requiring play facilities have limited dollars and often little expertise in planning and design, has led to this investigation of alternatives to the stand-alone super play structure. This section explores the innovative playground and the possibilities for alternative play solutions. 3.1 Defining the Innovative Playground Prior to discussing the range of innovative playground developments being built and designed around the world, it is important to establish the genesis from which all of these projects were considered and evaluated. This study defines innovative playground as a space designed for multiple age groups or one particular age group. It is a playground that has developed environments and products that are a departure from the typical application of generic standards, layouts, environments, materials and implementation practices. An innovative playground does not need to be unique in every one of these aspects.
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