The philosophy and design of an outdoor play space for pre-elementary school children

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

The need to redesign the outdoor play space and related equipment at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Laboratory School, in Blacksburg, Virginia, was investigated. Under the direction of the Department of Child Development, a rigid program was created which would determine the final design.

The total design process is divided into three phases. The study of child behavior establishes a firm foundation for this thesis study. The construction of prototype playground equipment serves as a basis by which this researcher traces and records ‘ the children's play patterns. The complete synthesis of all the data collected is represented by the final solution for this new outdoor environment.

A description of the investigation and the many factors which assisted in the determination of a final playground design and the final design is included.