Young children’s views on play provision in two local parks: A research project by early childhood studies students and staff
AffiliationUniversity of Derby
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AbstractThis article describes a collaborative research project which aimed to elicit the views of children, young people and the local community in relation to the play provision within two local parks that were in need of renovation. It involved 13 undergraduate students on a BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies degree, academics, a local landscape architect, children in two local schools, young people from the local youth club and parents attending the local Sure-Start centre. This article focuses on phase 1 of the project which involved undergraduate students and staff in primary research with children in two schools.13 third year students were enrolled on an option module entitled ‘Creative Opportunities and Possibilities’ which required them to evaluate an outdoor space as part of the module assessment. These students engaged in primary research and produced evaluations of each park, based on photographs and notes taken from site visits. This was followed by primary research with two year 2 classes in two local schools. Findings clearly identified that traditional playground equipment was important to children as well as ‘risky’ play features. Children also preferred play equipment for different ages on the same site, so they could play alongside older and younger siblings. Short term or semi-permanent provision was very popular and a keen interest in nature was expressed. The children’s knowledge and awareness of health and safety was a key finding and they were already very risk-averse. The researchers conclude that involving children in primary research needs careful planning and researchers need to be mindful of how children’s authentic voices can be heard and how they are positioned within the research. Constraints to the approach were recognised, the students were inexperienced researchers and as such the depth and complexity of the data was limited.
CitationYates, E., and Oates, R. (2019) 'Young children’s views on play provision in two local parks: A research project by early childhood studies students and staff'. Childhood, pp. 1-18. DOI: 10.1177/0907568219839115.
JournalChildhood A Journal of Global Child Research