Corvus Design Blog

August 26, 2011

How Playgrounds Get (mis) used

A friend sent this video link to me, and it’s a cringe-inducing one. These are international videos, so they show some equipment that wouldn’t be available where we work (United States), but there are plenty of clips that show how kids can still manage to risk injury on a playground. Watching these is actually a pretty good way to reinforce some of what we’ve learned for play design: fall zones, the reason that some equipment isn’t available any more, the need for some common sense… and perhaps the need for REALLY cushioned fall surfacing. Or at least piles of pillows around when people try these kinds of things.

In watching this, I think we’d all see at least one act that we either experienced personally… or saw in person. The minor ones are the kind of acts where we learn our own systems for understanding the balance of risk and benefit… or learning first-hand about gravity, centrifugal/centripetal force, Newton’s laws of motion, etc…

Lastly… who would have thought that powering a merry-go-round with a motorcyle was a good idea? And then, how did they find friends who also thought it was a good idea to get onto the merry-go-round… (with the number of clips that show this… it’s obviously a more common idea than I ever would have thought)