Quick tour of inclusive, creative and adventure play:

Two small children crouch down in a sandy area with large stones.
Slide from Jeavons Landscape Architects presentation.

It’s not often a conference presentation slide deck becomes a mini training course. But Mary and Sally Jeavons achieved this at the inaugural Australian Universal Design Conference. The slides show lots of different examples of inclusive, creative and adventure play.

The title of the Jeavons presentation is, Designing Play Spaces for Inclusion: Devilish details that make a difference. This presentation focused on the design of parks and play spaces and their potential for intergenerational play, social interaction and community building. And, of course, for interaction with the natural world. As Mary Jeavons said, play equipment in a neatly fenced rubber space, cannot meet all of the play needs of today’s children and families. A very useful presentation using images that tell the story.

Two children, one in a wheelchair, enter a cubby area.
Photo courtesy Jeavons Landscape Architecture.

It is not easy to successfully include “un-designed” elements into playspaces. Plantings, sand, and large river pebbles need maintenance and resistance to local residents complaining about “mess”. There are also budget considerations. With increased urban density the need for adventure play becomes more important. All children have a right to use parks and open spaces. Time to move beyond the “plonk down” catalogue swing set and slide. 

The voices of children are rarely heard, but they did some listening in Launcestion. Have a look at their report.

See previous post with more practical information and research on adventure play.