טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
M.Sc Thesis
M.Sc StudentBashan-Haham Yaara
SubjectAdapting Playground Equipment to the Needs and Behavior of
Children between the Ages of 3-6
DepartmentDepartment of Architecture and Town Planning
Supervisor Ms. Rachel Sebba


Abstract

This study focuses on the equipment in playgrounds and kindergarten play areas and aims to achieve several interconnected goals:

·     To examine the contribution of psychological, social and cognitive aspects of playing in a playground.

·     To identify children's creative interpretation of the play equipment in order to understand and assess the reasons and motives for this interpretation and its implications for safety.

·         To examine reasons for accidents from the behavioral perspective.

·     To encourage safety-based playground planning that addresses the needs of children and to put together planning, design, and behavioral principles that would increase the contribution and decrease the risks.


The  research goals necessitated the examination of the issue from several angles:

  • Literature review focused on child development, play theories, physical activity, the influence of peers and parents on child behavior.
  • Analysis of a sample of 75 playgrounds and 10 kindergartens, in cities, towns, and small communities.
  • Interviews with 25 parents who accompany their children to playgrounds.
  • Interviews with 10 kindergarten teachers who work in kindergartens for 3-6 year olds.
  • Observations in playgrounds of the activities of children on play equipment.


The results of the research reveal:

-     Both parents and kindergarten teachers testify to the contribution of play in playgrounds, but differences in perspective do exist.

-     Both the parents and the kindergarten teachers agree that through motor activities on the equipment, children come to know their bodies, its limitations, strength sand and weaknesses. These activities contribute to spatial orientation, improved coordination, balance, and muscle development.

-     The importance of going to a playground lies in the opportunity to experience activities that cannot be experienced at home.

-     A gathering of children in playgrounds creates an opportunity to learn and strengthen social skills.

-     Activities on the play equipment are a source of enjoyment for the child. The enjoyment can come from the activity itself, from the time spent together with the parents, from the feeling of having succeeded at something new and challenging, or from overcoming some kind of fear.

-     The equipment mix is the key to the play area's contribution to child development.

-     The main risks of injury arising from the study are: Lack of attention by the child, unintended use of the equipment, the presence of too many children on a piece of equipment not designed to hold them, lack of adult supervision and defective planning and design of the playground.