One of the core beliefs of the Children at Play Network is – children have a right to be included in the process of designing play environments.
In fact, we should probably go one step further and say that children should be involved in the design of any space they will occupy, but especially play environments. Involving children in design for play should be an act of play in and of itself. By providing loose parts for children to use in building models of their play visions you are engaging children in the creative problem solving of play design but you are also signaling that their views are welcome and important. The materials you provide will impact the models the children create. Three dimensional model building is just one way to seek input from children in design but it is often a favorite. Below are some photos of loose part materials that were turned over to children in a recent model building exercise for a new outdoor playground in Louisville at the Portland Museum. This is really just a starting point to get you thinking about materials. Anything that can safely be used by children to create models is fair game. The CAPN assists organizations exploring new playground designs. Reach out to us if you might be interested.