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Fieldwork: About our playground



To investigate the location and usage of a local playground or play area.

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Length of time

Up to half a day. It might be interesting to visit the location at different times of the day to record changes in use.


Suitable locations

A local playground or play area which might be a stand-alone location or within a park/recreation ground. This needs to have public access rather than a school site.


Description of the activity

This is an activity which a wide age of primary children will enjoy doing as it is close to their hearts! But it does require them to think more deeply about the provision and location of such amenities and recognise that these are part of their local area and serve people who live there.

There may be some adult pieces of apparatus in the neighbourhood as well and these can be included. You might arrange for some parents with small children to be there at the time of the visit so they can be interviewed to find out their views about it.


General questions

  • Where is it sited? (Both in the area and within a park etc)
  • Who looks after it?
  • Is it easy to get to? How might people travel there?
  • Is there car parking available? How many spaces? Are any reserved for special reasons?
  • Who is the play area for? (Age limits?)
  • What equipment is there? Condition?
  • What is the surface of the play area like?
  • Is it available all the time or locked up at night?
  • Are there any services nearby? (Café, seating, rubbish bins, other activity areas)


Reflective questions

  • Could the area be improved? What would you like to see added here?
  • Why are playgrounds important for a community?
  • Should there be more playgrounds? If so, where could they be located in the area?


Further tasks

Design a playground for your local area.

Think about where to site it, considering access, location, and activities. Use a local map to choose the best site for it.


Useful websites

Search local archives – A good way of finding out the local council which deals with amenities in your area.

Free Parks – This site is packed with ideas about parks/playgrounds and has a location finder for those in your area.

Landscape Structures – This site has useful background for staff as it discusses the importance of community playgrounds for
health and relationships.


This collection of Fieldwork activities were created by Paula Richardson and the Fieldwork and Outdoor Learning Special Interest Group (FOLSIG) for the National Festival of Fieldwork, the GA invites everyone to take part during the summer term.

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