Study Playground Design

This course develops a sound understanding of the design and construction of small community parks and playgrounds.  This course covers playground philosophy, design of play structures (for function and safety), materials selection, community participation and park design. This course can enhance skills or provide career benefits for:
  • Park and playground managers
  • Landscape designers, landscape architects
  • Engineers, architects, property developers
  • Playground designers
  • Playground builders, auditors, maintenance staff
  • Play leaders
  • Child care workers
  • School teachers
Learn How to Create Environments that Enhance Children's Play

Play is critical to healthy and well balanced human development; both physical an psychological.

Children who are denied or inhibited from proper play opportunities can very easily have problems that stay with them for their entire life.

Playgrounds are not just large structures; but rather, they are well constructed, challenging and stimulating environments. This course helps you explore playgrounds in their broadest context; and improve your ability to create playgrounds that are used and not abused or ignored by children

Course Duration - 100 hours

Course Content and Structure
There are eight lessons in this unit as follows:

1.  Overview of Parks & Playgrounds
2.  Playground Philosophy
3.  Preparing a Concept Plan
4.  Materials
5.  Park & Playground Structures and Materials
6.  Local and Neighbourhood Parks
7.  Community Participation In Park Development
8.  Special Assignment.

What are Adventure Playgrounds?

Adventure playgrounds just one of many types of playgrounds. They are places where children are free to do things they are unable to do in most other parts of our crowded modern world. The ‘true’ adventure playground is supervised by trained adults and provides for the following play possibilities:

Building - cubbies, tree houses, underground dens, climbing structures, forts, swings, etc from waste materials.
Fire Play - cooking, bonfires, campfires, etc.
Gardening - growing vegetables, herbs, flowers, etc.
Animal Play - keeping chickens, pigeons, ducks, rabbits, guinea pigs, perhaps a sheep, etc.
Water Play - making a pond, mud pies, water fights, etc.
Crafts - painting, making a kite, pottery, etc.
Earth play - digging, mounding, etc.

These and other activities are typical of the adventure playground. This type of playground first became well established in Europe and the United Kingdom, and then later gained popularity and acceptance by the people responsible for play in America, Australia and many other parts of the world.


The major problems of establishing this type of facility are:

Obtaining a permanent site. Opposition is often met from neighbours to a proposed site. It is usually important to fence and screen an adventure playground site.
Money for fencing, building a play hut and purchasing tools and equipment.
Financing leaders to run the playground. (In some countries, government funding provides for such schemes).

Adventure playgrounds can be either permanent or temporary facilities. The concept can (and has) very successfully been incorporated into holiday play programmes, although there is no doubt that there are advantages to be had from a permanent playground which will always be missed in something temporary.

How Do You Establish a Supervised Adventure Playground

You need:

1) Site 
At least half an acre, preferably larger, and ideally 1-2 acres. The site is best located within safe walking distance of the children who are to use it. Check with neighbours before commencing. This is good public relations. It is also better to confront opposition early, rather than after you have spent a lot of time and money on the project.

2) Shelter
Cooking facilities, somewhere to entertain visitors or speak privately with the children, shelter from cold and rain, toilet facilities, etc are all necessary.

3) Fencing
This can be very expensive to purchase new. Sometimes, old tennis court fencing or some other recycled material can be used.

4) Screening 
Because of the junky appearance, the playground is usually best screened from view. If the fencing is something solid (i.e. timber or brick, etc) this is done automatically. Surrounding the playground with earth mounds is a common screening technique in Europe. Planting the perimeter of the playground is perhaps the cheapest screen, but this does take a few years to become effective.

5) Funding For Tools etc
Hammers, spades, nails, rope, water reticulation, craft materials, plant seeds, etc will all need to be purchased. Sometimes these materials can be obtained as donations from local businesses. In return the playground might publicise the business’s sponsorship.

6) Funding For Leadership
This can often be the biggest difficulty. To employ a leader means a continual cost - money needs to be found every week, year after year. Such a commitment is not made lightly by government or private organisations. Leadership can sometimes be provided by volunteers, but they must be well-trained.

7) Insurance
Be sure to insure comprehensively, including for personal liability. 

8) Other Materials
Waste materials such as packing cases, old timber, tyres, etc. can usually be obtained
at no cost.

Let us tell you about playgrounds and help you
make the right decisions about moving forward.