Creating playgrounds for communities are always fantastic projects to work on. At Hand Made Places every play area design is unique to its location, and we love being able to support the visions and goals of families and carers across the UK. Studies have shown public play areas are taking on an increasingly important role in towns and villages. In fact a new national survey by the University of Reading concluded that free-to-access playgrounds are the most common places for children to play, other than their home. The results show that, averaged across the year, children living in Britain in 2020 played for little more than three hours per day, but there is huge variation between children. Around half of children’s play happens outdoors.
Vital role of playgrounds
The British Children’s Play Survey was conducted with a nationally representative sample of 1,919 adult respondents who had a child aged five to 11 years. The survey asked parents in April 2020 to respond about normal life before Covid-19 restrictions. The paper’s lead author, Professor Helen Dodd, said: “We can see that playgrounds and green areas are critical spaces for children’s play, particularly outdoor, adventurous play. “It is therefore crucial that all children have access to spaces like these for their development and wellbeing. “Providing the spaces is not enough though – urban planning must take into account how children and families will travel to and access these spaces and they need to be engaging and interesting places for children’s play.” The Association of Play Industries (API) said for children in the one in eight UK households without gardens, playgrounds are often the only outdoor space in which to play. Playgrounds are spaces created just for children – a rare thing in today’s world. Chairman of the API, Mark Hardy, said: “The study confirms the essential role that public play areas have in the physical and mental health of children. “Playgrounds are vital community assets which have a significant impact on children’s health and wellbeing. Recent years have seen a sharp decline in the number of playgrounds. “These community spaces are hugely under-funded and hundreds are disappearing. “There is now an urgent need for sustained investment in a UK-wide network of playgrounds to protect and enhance children’s health.”
Transforming play opportunities for children
Hand Made Places has first-hand experience of how a well thought out, quality play area can help bring a community together. We designed a playground for Clift Meadow, in Bramley, for families to enjoy. This included adventure play equipment, traditional swings, seating, activity panels and sculptures. The features were carefully selected to offer inclusivity as well as imaginary and physical play opportunities. We also worked with Hatherleigh Town Council in South Devon to bring a tired toddler play park bang up to date. The project was spearheaded by two parents who felt the existing provision was not suitable. They were able to secure various grants as well as raise funds to overhaul the site and, working to their budget, we were able to create a modern and safe play area that is suitable for use all year round. The works have completely transformed the park which now includes areas for imaginative, active and inclusive play.
Working with your community
Creating the ultimate play experience is done with the intention of capturing young imaginations – sparking creativity, nurturing social skills and physical wellbeing and encouraging independence. The extensive range of play equipment from Hand Made Places means the possibilities for creating happy, lasting memories are endless. From traditional playgrounds to eco and arts inspired activities, sensory experiences to learning tools, we continually improve our offering to keep it fresh and exciting. And keeping the best interests of clients and young people at heart means we never compromise on our values. We are proud to be a member of the Association of Play Industries (API) and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RosPA) and all our equipment is BS EN 1176 certified. Our unparalleled choice of high-quality cost-effective playground equipment extends to seating, canopies, fencing, signage and planters. So from mini makeovers to fresh new play concepts, get in touch to discuss your plans.