Learning Through Play
Play DMC believes that play should be exciting and engaging for children, and we recognise that play is essential for the physical, social, intellectual and emotional development of children. Children and teenagers want and need to take risks to develop, and play opportunities should not be limited by an over-emphasis on the provision of a ‘safe’ playspace. This can be achieved by providing a good balance of risk with the benefits provided. Skills learnt through play can help people deal with hazards elsewhere.
Our considered approach to assessing both the risk and associated benefits of play aims to assist in the creation of fun places for children to develop and discover through play.
Risk and benefits assessment and many other factors in play cannot be readily quantified. In addition some factors are not adequately covered by Standards and there are many aspects of Standards that are subjective. This has lead to a range of interpretations being made and differences in opinions between designers, assessors and manufacturers - all of which may be considered valid depending on interpretation of subjective factors.
In order to try to provide some consistency in advice provided, Play DMC have included in some of our presentations notes on how we treat some of the grey areas of play assessment. Links to two presentations are provided on this page.
Latest Playground Standards Presentations
Paul Grover has undertaken several 2-4 hour presentations on the latest Australian Standards relevant to playgrounds, risk, benefits of play, design considerations and inspections.
A copy of the slides used in our most detailed Presentation is available here (inc. AS4685:2021).
A copy of the slides used in a short presentation on risk is available here.
This includes a risk matrix and recommendations for landscaped play including stepping routes, balance walks, rock slopes and mounds.