Updates to the very successful Everyone Can Play guideline means everyone can play more. That’s because it now includes new sections on nature play, water play, and place and play. The new sections are based on the original principles, of Can I get there? Can I play? and Can I stay?
Access to nature depends on where you live, cultural background and level of capability. Incorporating nature into playspaces offers everyone the opportunity to experience the joy an benefits it can bring. That is, regardless of age, ability, background or postcode.
Nature play spaces are usually made of natural materials such as plants, rocks, logs, sand, mulch and water.
Nature play can be a playspace with simple play elements through to a natural space with minimal formal play elements. Combined with custom play equipment they give a variety of experiences. A nature playspace can even reduce ongoing maintenance costs.
Consider using flat level surfaces from decomposed granite or stone pavers. Ensure paths are free and clear of loose, natural items by providing raised and fixed edges. The guideline suggests a natural shaded clearing for a quiet space or a retreat, and place seats in strategic locations. Two case studies provide extra ideas for designers.
Access to water for play varies depending on where people live. Incorporating water into playspaces is a good way to bring the benefits of this type of play to communities.
Water play can be as elaborate as a splash park or as simple as a tap or bubbler. And water play doesn’t always mean you have to get wet.
Level access to water play activities is a must. Taps at different heights, raised troughs, easy push buttons and large levers to control or pump water are good for everyone. Water play in playspaces can provide a safer more controlled environment to interact and play with water. It also gives people access to water in area without natural bodies of water.
Place and Play
Expanding on the principles of Can I get there? Can I play? Can I stay? this document encourages people to ask:
Can I connect?
Can I discover?
Can I celebrate?
Connecting with a place should always start with a local conversation to understand community dynamics and desires. Australia is home to the oldest living culture in the world and we have access to beautiful and diverse landscapes. These unique environments should foster connection, discovery and celebration.
Ongoing and early engagement with Traditional Custodians is not just a one-off engagement process. Strong relationships provide a solid foundation for ongoing guidance throughout the project.
Places can be important because of their location, their history, or how they make us feel. Acknowledging and celebrating the land we are on strengthens connection with Country. Natural materials drawn from local sources are a way of sharing local history while playing.
Everyone can play with more experiences
The three new sections of the Everyone Can Play build on the original work with three additional sections for more play experiences. You can download the sections separately from the NSW Government dedicated website.