Grown-ups at the Playground

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Download the Project Report (pdf)


Overview
By design, public playgrounds are filled with kids playing, running, laughing, yelling, swinging, sliding, and having a great time. What about the grown-ups that bring the kids to the playground? There is nothing for them at the playground except for a couple of benches. In an effort to improve the playground experience for adults, this project explores what grown-ups do while at the playground.

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Findings
ENTICE – Grown-ups agree to go to the playground because it will be good for their kid(s) and their kid(s) have been begging to go for the past three days.
ENTER – The playground rules are reviewed before sending the kids off to play, which establishes the parent / child role as boss and employee, which then means it is “work” time for the parent.
ENGAGE – More value is wanted out of the playground, other than just active play and social interaction. More play and less work for the grown-up please.
EXIT – This gets tricky and sometimes reverts to bribery to get the kid(s) to leave without crying. Ice cream tends to work well.
EXTEND – Sanitizing once home is the most repeated of the extended playground experience. The other is going to another fun activity or errand because “we are already out”.

Opportunities
COMMUNITY BASED –
The sense of community around public playgrounds can be enhanced by getting more people involved. As more people get involved the playgrounds will become safer and more valuable to the community.

WIN / WIN –
Parents are the gateway to the playground for kids. They decide when they are going and when they are leaving. By making the playground more of a win-win situation for parents and kids they would go more often and stay longer.

EDUCATIONAL –
Parents want their kids to have a balance of play and education. There would be more value to going to the playground if there were more learning experiences while there.