How to Grow a Playspace : Development and Design book cover
1st Edition

How to Grow a Playspace
Development and Design

ISBN 9781138907065
Published June 1, 2017 by Routledge
366 Pages

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USD $62.95

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Book Description

How to Grow a Playspace takes you through a global perspective of the different stages of child development and the environments that engage children in play around the world. From the urbanity of Mumbai; to rainbow nets in Japan; nature play in Denmark; recycling waste in Peru; community building in Uganda; play streets in London; and gardens of peace in Palestine, it proves that no matter where play occurs, it is ubiquitous in its resourcefulness, imagination and effect.

Written by international leaders in the field of play including academics, designers and playworkers, How to Grow A Playspace discusses contemporary issues around children and play, such as risk benefit in play, creativity and technology, insights into children’s thinking, social inclusion and what makes a city child-friendly.

With its own ‘Potting Shed’, this text is also a practical guide to support playspace projects with advice on teams, budgets, community engagement, maintenance and standards. How to Grow a Playspace is a comprehensive ‘go-to’ guide for anyone interested or involved in children’s play and playspaces.

Table of Contents

Part I: Ground, 1. Introduction, Part II: Sowing, 2. A History of Playspaces (Carla Pascoe), 3. Fundamental Perceptions and Ingredients for Play; Having Fun, Opening Up and Letting Go (Elizabeth Cummins), 4. Insights into the Mind of the Child (Tracy R. Gleason and Becky L. Geer), 5. Play Environments and Affordances (Elizabeth Cummins and Zahra Zamani), 6. Chaos and Confusion: The Clash between Adult’s and Children’s Spaces (Katherine Masiulanis), 7. City Play (Elger Blitz and Hannah Schubert), 8. Of Agency, Participation and Design: Two Contrasting Play Scenarios in Indian Cities (Mukta Naik), 9. Designing Inclusive Playspaces (Katherine Masiulanis), 10. Glenallen School (Mary Jeavons), Part III: Seedlings, 11. Developmental Stages (Katherine Masiulanis), 12. Observable Patterns and Interests (Elizabeth Cummins), 13. Social Ergonomics (Katherine Masiulanis), 14. Common Affordances for Play (Elizabeth Cummins), 15. The Natural Environment as Playspace (Helle Nebelong), 16. Planting for Children’s Play (John Rayner), 17. Introducing Water Play Environments to Early Years Settings (Theresa Casey and Margaret Westwood), 18. The Development of Forest School in the UK (Christina Dee), 19. Children’s Gardens: A Tale of Two Cities (Andrew Laidlaw), 20. Reflections on Designing Lafayette Park Playground (Jeffrey Miller ASLA). Part IV: Sprouts, 21. Developmental Stages (Katherine Masiulanis), 22. Observable Patterns and Interests (Elizabeth Cummins), 23. Social Ergonomics (Katherine Masiulanis), 24. Common Affordances for Play (Elizabeth Cummins), 25. Colours and Materials (Katherine Masiulanis), 26. Embedded Art in Playspaces (Dorelle Davidson), 27. Child Led Creativity (Matthew Shaw), 28. Art as Playspace: Interview with Toshiko Horiuchi MacAdam and Charles MacAdam (Elizabeth Cummins), 29. Quintessential Play Patterns in Schools - The Interface of Space, Materials and Play Behaviour (Mary Jeavons), 30. When is a Slide not a Slide? (Or What if we Think Differently About and Beyond Design) (Wendy Russell), 31."This Place is Like a Building Site…." (Judi Legg), 32. The Stepping Stones to Many Playgrounds (Carla and Tom Gill), Part V: Saplings, 33. Developmental Stages (Katherine Masiulanis), 34. Observable Patterns and Interests (Elizabeth Cummins), 35. Social Ergonomics (Katherine Masiulanis), 36. Common Affordances for Play (Elizabeth Cummins), 37. Beyond 14+ years (Alasdair Roy & Gabrielle McKinnon), 38. Technology in Playspaces: A Snapshot (Katherine Masiulanis), 39. Lima and the Ever-Postponed Electric Train (Basurama), 40. Be Not Afeared: Embracing the Need for Risk in Play (Bernard Speigel), 41. Not in My Front Garden! Play Streets: A Doorstep Controversy (Paul Hocker), 42. We are Such Stuff as Dreams are Made on (Penny Wilson), Part VI: The Potting Shed, 43. The Team (Katherine Masiulanis), 44. Tin Tacks - Budgeting and Resources (Elizabeth Cummins), 45. Social and Environmental Responsibilities (Katherine Masiulanis), 46. Site Analysis and Opportunities for Play (Katherine Masiulanis), 47. Playspaces and Community Engagement (Elizabeth Cummins), 48. Insight into Playground Manufacturers (Katherine Masiulanis), 49. Staging (Elizabeth Cummins), 50. Planting Maintenance (Katherine Masiulanis), 51. Maintenance and Longevity (Elizabeth Cummins), 52. Supporting Infrastructure (Katherine Masiulanis), 53. Standards and Regulations (General and best practice principles) (Paul Grover)

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Katherine Masiulanis (AILA) is a registered landscape architect based in Melbourne, Australia. She is the Director of Leaf Design Studio, which specialises in combining landscape architecture with interpretive design. Having started her career as an industrial designer, she has a broad base of design skills. Katherine has worked on the design of play environments since 1998 in various capacities, allowing her to complete many award-winning designs. She has a particular interest in the enrichment of play with sculptural and artistic elements, and in creating sites which relate their unique stories.

Elizabeth Cummins is a qualified landscape architect (Bachelor of Design 1st Class Hons, RMIT 2001) and educator (Diploma of Teaching Early Childhood, Monash University 1989). Beginning her professional life as an early childhood teacher in the early 1990s, Elizabeth has worked as both a pre-school and primary educator in Australia, the UK and Japan. After qualifying as a landscape architect, Elizabeth worked professionally with Jeavons Landscape Architects for almost six years and has lectured and tutored at RMIT University, Melbourne. Elizabeth has also spent many years working in and for local government. In 2011 Elizabeth branched out to take her own creative project direction, called Bricolage Design. Bricolage specialises in design and strategic planning, particularly for children’s environments. Elizabeth is a founding coordinator of the Creative Cubby Project, a local initiative to encourage creative play for children by building temporary cubby houses using cardboard boxes and recycled materials. Elizabeth is also a passionate advocate for quality play and the right of children to be independently mobile and able to freely and actively explore and engage in their local neighbourhoods. She is a member of Play Australia and in 2015 co-authored their guide to risk benefit assessment, ‘Getting the Balance Right’. Elizabeth blogs regularly on play and projects for children.


'How to Grow a Playspace draws on the experience of Elizabeth Cummins and Katherine Masiulanis, two inspiring Australian-based landscape architects with a passion in creating outdoor playspaces for children. This book includes contributions from current world leaders in playspace development and design, challenging perceptions of the importance and complexity of play. How to Grow a Playspace uncovers the possibilities of designed and appropriated environments for play. More than just a reference guide, readers can come back to this book again and again for inspiration, enjoyment and support to create dynamic and engaging playspaces that children love.'

Barbara Champion, Executive Director – Play Australia


How to Grow a Playspace: Development and Design is edited by two landscape architects and brings together chapter contributions from authors with many years of experience from a diversity of fields including the history of childhood, child development, psychology, play, education, children’s advocacy, children’s rights, primary schools, forest schools, playwork, various expressions of art, urban planning and landscape architecture. The richness of these experiences and knowledge are brought together in a well-ordered and structured book… It is to be recommended to many adults from different walks of life including parents, teachers, landscape architects, play equipment companies, play workers, developers and funding bodies.’

Helen Woolley, International Play Association