Play and design


A new UK Government took office on 11 May and is in the process of deciding its position on a number of policies and government strategies . As a result the resources listed on this page may not reflect current Government policy. All statutory guidance and legislation referred to continues to reflect the current legal position unless indicated otherwise.

Resources and further information relating to play and design.

  1. 1. Children and their Environments: Learning, Using and Designing Spaces – Christopher Spencer and Mark Blades (2006) www.cambridge.org/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=9780521546829Examining theories of children's perceptions of space and place, this book explores how these theories are applied to the world of children. Its focus is on children in large real world spaces: places that children live in, explore and learn from.
  2. 2. Design for Play: A guide to creating successful play spaces www.playengland.org.uk/Page.asp?originx_2757hp_70994779705616h30y_2008630728a This guide, jointly published by Play England and government departments, shows how to design good play spaces, which can be affordably maintained, which give children and young people freedom to play creatively, and yet still allow them to experience risk, challenge and excitement.
  3. 3. Developing an adventure playground: the essential elements www.playengland.org.uk/Page.asp?originx_351yx_89303256001678v60c_20094274735o This briefing sets out what is expected of play pathfinder local authorities in the design and development of new adventure playgrounds and expands on programme information for adventure playgrounds in the third sector funding programme.
  4. 4. Guidance on what to look for in a play designer www.ncb.org.uk/cpis/resources/factsheets.aspx This factsheet gives brief guidance on choosing a play designer, as outlined in Shackell, A and others (2008) Design for Play: A guide to creating successful play spaces. London: DCSF, DCMS and Play England.
  5. 5. How to Involve Children and Young People in Designing and Developing Play Space www.playengland.org.uk/Page.asp?originx_8571ee_84498930828971i31w_2009994841u A ‘how to’ guide aimed at all those involved in designing and developing play spaces for children and young people, providing introductory advice and practice examples of how to involve children and young people at all stages of the design process.
  6. 6. Inclusion by Design: A guide to creating accessible play and childcare environments www.kids.org.uk/information/100428/100623/100834/books/ Demonstrating good practice in inclusive design, this publication is aimed at planners, designers, parks and leisure officers as well as early years, play and childcare providers who want to ensure that the design of their playspace is accessible, welcoming and inclusive.
  7. 7. Inclusive Design for Play www.kids.org.uk/files/102530/FileName/PIPBriefingFeb09.pdf A good practice guide for local authorities in the provision of new play spaces, making explicit the need for accessible and inclusive play areas as well as children and young people’s right to be consulted in the process.
  8. 8. Manual for Streets www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/sustainable/manforstreets Manual for Streets provides guidance for practitioners involved in the planning, design, provision and approval of new residential streets, and modifications to existing ones. It aims to increase the quality of life through good design, to encourage more people-orientated streets.
  9. 9. Nature Play: Simple and fun ideas for all www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/INFD-7LSEHW This practical guide on nature play offers fun, simple and cost effective examples of play ideas from easily sourced materials. It will help Forestry Commission staff and other landowners or managers wanting to improve informal play provision for children.
  10. 10. Play Space Development Checklist www.ncb.org.uk/cpis/resources/factsheets.aspx This factsheet covers the issues you need to think about when designing a playground.
Back to top To view PDFs you will need software like Acrobat Reader
Download Adobe Acrobat Reader 9.0

Play Shaper online learning

Use the online learning environment after you have participated in a Play Shaper seminar. You can access learning materials, online discussions and an assessment quiz that accredits your continuing professional development.

Start learning now

Get updates

Sign up for Play Shaper email updates

Sign up