Playground can be defined as play park or play area, to let children with a specific design and recreational equipment such as slide, seesaw, merry-go-round, swing set, chin-up bars, jungle gym, sandbox, spring rider, monkey bars, overhead ladder, trapeze rings, mazes and playhouses. Based on the literature review that I have found, a playground is an institutionalized environment that supply proper facilities layout. It may support the accession of the children activity and children’s motor development.
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The playground is an essential part of any school, early childhood service and community park. Children spend many hours of their day occupying themselves with what the playground has to offer. Schools, early childhood services and playgrounds with well marked game activities and safe and inviting equipment provide increased motivation for children to participate in physical activity and become engaged in purposeful play. As a result, these may help children to cultivate their strength, physical coordination and adaptability also providing enjoyment and recreation.
Play is primitive to children’s happiness and well-being, If children have the opportunities for play are restricted there are likely to be profound effects on their life experience in general and more specifically on their physical and mental health. Health experts have explored that if children lack of particular forms of play, it will cause some growing problems such as rickets; obesity and attention deficit disorder.
Research (Stratton, 2000, Ridges et al., 2007) supports the use of playground markings for improving students’ physical activity levels. One review of research literature cited in NSW Department of Education and Training (2005) concluded that the use of playground markings can increase children’s physical activity levels and increase children’s energy expenditure.
A playground not only should be designed to suit the age of the child. During playing, children can experience real emotions, create their own uncertainty, experience the unexpected, respond to new situations and adapt to a wide variety of situations. Play can let them to form friendships and attachments to adults and to places, allowing for the development of familiarity with both.
Thus, this study is to explore how does the layout and design of a playground effect children? Is it can provide opportunities for children’s independent learning? Does the layout of a playground can bring families and children closer while playing together in the playground?
CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 Layout and design of children playground using modular approach
The first literature review studies the guidelines set for the layout of playground. They have similar equipments but different arrangement throughout the entire playground. Most of the equipments are designed based on safety guidelines. According to the literature review, the layout and design of a playground has different effect on children’s growth. The modular system can be assembled in a variety ways to use in multiple functionalities.
Landscape designers, Architects, builders, teachers and gardeners can be called upon to design children play area. There is no customary design of playground layout currently. Layouts are normally designed by the experience of the builders and designers. Some layout designs mostly focus on the concept of “flow” of play, and the safety guidelines controlling the overall layout, such as the necessity to separate two different areas such as apathetic play areas distribute from active ones. Most of the customers are encourage by the playground equipment manufactures to choose equipment they like and teach them to customize their layout and design of playground.
To design a free unstructured and non-universal layouts, there are a few layouts and design of public playgrounds found in Singapore. Facilities planning decide how an activity’s specific fixed credit best support achieving the activity’s objectives. It is involve with the layout, design, location and accession of people, machines, and activities of a system or enterprise within a physical special environment.
There are three important considerations are flow, space, and activity relationships in the specification of a facilities. Flow may determine the activity relationship which causes the design and location of a facility; space requirements determine the layout and sizes of the facilities.
Flow has the material flow, material management, logistics and physical distribution. The flowing pattern is the most important in the consideration of designing a playground. The consideration of flow principles and flow patterns which is to minimize flow, maximize directed flow paths, and decrease the costs of flow is planned for effective flow requires
Space requirements have to be determined carefully because it is hard to be done as true space requirement is uncertain in future. Activity relationship provides the basis for many decisions in facilities planning process. The primary relationships considered are organizational, flow, control, environmental and process relationships.
Besides minimizing the costs of flow, other considerations in layout planning are Frequency of flow between facilities, shape and sizes/area of facilities, floor space available, the number of facilities needed to minimize queuing, the time spent by a material in particular facilities last but not least the particular requirements between facilities.
A procedure named Systematic Layout Planning was developed to produce facilities layout. It is a technique approved by Richard Muther. a step-by step planning procedure which allows users to visualize, identify and classify some of the activities, relationships, and alternatives in a layout generation project. The main concern in Systematic Layout Planning Procedure is product, quantity, services and routing. it is not used in the procedure although the timing is considered as one of the input.
According to the layout planning by Robin C. Moore in Play for All guidelines, the equipment should be grouped closer together which develop similar skills for children. Equipment with similar character should be placed further from each other. Same character of equipment will cause queuing and cluttering that should be avoided for smooth traffic or flow of children. Cluttering also increases chance of conflict and bullying which are not favourable for safety.
2.2 The children playground as an effective approach to incorporating mathematics and art into the creative practise of play.
The second literature review shows that the design of play spaces will affect the quality of play experienced within these spaces and explored to the effectiveness of architecture and playgrounds to link mathematics and art to promote the playground for the children.
There are three ways to think about how to incorporate mathematics and art into playgrounds; one can compare three scenarios below and evaluate:
Educational appendages: A playground that is used with an educational agenda to teach curriculum-based mathematics and appreciation of art.
Implicitly mathematical and artistic: A playground that is not designed with heavily mathematical and artistic qualities in mind, but the mathematics and aesthetics are implicitly in its build. Every playground by default contains mathematics and art to some degree.
Explicitly mathematical and artistic: The designer works intentionally to create emotional and phenomenological response through overtly mathematical and artistic architecture. Very few playgrounds today are designed in such a manner.
These are certainly great ways to incorporate mathematics and art into playgrounds, but are not substantially altering the playground architecture or fostering ‘free’ informal play in children. The second way to think about playgrounds is to consider that all built environments are architectural, and thus contain mathematics and art automatically. If mathematics and art are consciously designed into the play spaces and equipment then opportunity opens up to increase the engagement and creativity of children at play.
In a nutshell, to understand how a playground may be effective to play, we need to understand the psychological effects of shape, geometry, colour, texture, light, and other architectural elements. Colour, pattern, symbols, texture, form and lines are all related back to human environments and how they affect mood, productivity and creativity. Making the most of these valuable or limited play spaces should be seen as a worthwhile to work forward for the future.
CHAPTER 3 RESEARCH METHODS
3.1 Case study
There are two types of research methods whish are quantitative and qualitative. Quantitative research is an investigation into a specific problem, based on testing a theory, measured with numbers, and analysed the information with using statistical techniques. The purpose of quantitative methods is to determine whether the predictive observations of a theory hold true. It is based on the principle that something is meaningful only if it can be observed and counted. Its key characteristics are numerical data that permits a range of statistical analysis. There are several approaches to quantitative research which include experimental, descriptive, correlational and causal comparison. Inferential statistics are frequently used to generalise what is found about the study sample to the population as a whole.
A qualitative process of investigations has the purpose of using multiple perspectives to understand a social or human. Qualitative researchers study things in their natural settings, attempting to make sense of, or to interpret, phenomena in terms of the meanings people bring to them. Qualitative research is considered to access to the deeper significance that the subject of the research attach to the topic being researched. It involves naturalistic approach to its subject matter, an interpretive and gives attention to what the data contribute to important research questions or existing information. Given this range of data types, there are also diverse methodological and theoretical approaches to study design and data analysis such as phenomenology; ethnography; grounded theory and case studies. The researchers’ also play a important role in qualitative data analysis and in the bases on which generalisations to other contexts may be made.
Phenomenology is sometimes considered a philosophical view as well as an access to qualitative methodology. It has a history in some social research disciplines containing sociology, psychology, and social work. Phenomenology is thought that giving more attention on people’s subjective experiences and understanding of the world.
Besides that, ethnography is studying the whole culture. Ethnography is an advanced area with a great variety of practitioners and methods. Besides that, participant observation as a part of field research is the most common ethnographic approach. The ethnographer becomes deeply involved in the culture as an active participant and records additional information.
18.104.22.168 Grounded theory
Furthermore, grounded theory is a composite repetitive process. The research start with the raising of generative questions that helps to conduct the research but not expected to be static or confining. Core theoretical concept is identified when the researcher start to combine all the data. These may take months and the research aim to be very open at the early phase. After that, the researcher is more intended in summary and verification.
22.214.171.124 Case study
A case study is detailed investigations of groups, institutions, individuals or other social units. Case studies are focus of attention is the individual case and not the whole population of cases compare with other research studies. Nevertheless, case study is the focus may not be on generalization but yet on understanding the specific of that case in its complexity. A case study pay attention on a bounded system, mostly under natural conditions, so that the system can be understood in its own habitat.
3.1.3 Conclusion (Case study)
I decided to use case study as the method of this research. It understands the particular case such as how does the layout and design of the playground effects on children’s growth. This studies of this research is focus on an individual case, the experiences of participants from different campuses could be carried out. These might involve indepth interviews with the facility participants, observations of their classes over time, surveys of students, interviews with peers and department chairs, and analyses of student work samples at several points in the program. Selection of participants might be made based on factors such as their experience and training, type of students taught, or differences in institutional supports.
According to Santa Clara University, ethic is two things. First, ethics is right and wrong that assign what humans have to do, usually in terms of rights, agreement, benefits to society, justice, or specific honour. Ethical standards also involve those that require virtues of honesty, kindness, and faithfulness. Besides that, ethical standards include standards relating to authority, such as the right to life, the right to freedom from injury, and the right to privacy. Second, ethics is the study and development of someone’s ethical standards. As noticed above, feelings, laws, and social norms can angle off from what is ethical. it is essential to analyse someone’s standards to guarantee that they are reasonable and well-founded. Ethics also means the constant effort of studying our moral beliefs and our moral conduct, live up to standards that are reasonable and entirely-based. There are four characteristics in research ethics, which are consent, harm, privacy and deception.
There are four characteristics in research ethics, which are consent, harm, privacy and deception. First, consent is the process by which research subjects choose whether they want to take part in a research study. Consent includes three elements which are capacity, information, and voluntariness. Consent have to be contented all three elements that given. Capacity is the capability to get knowledge, and the right to perform. Information contains of insuring the subjects are told, and understand, the aim of the study and the part as subjects. Voluntariness is the subjects that have been chosen are free to regain from the study. There must be no force to get a subject to involve the research study. Special attention must be given to gain the consent of children, psychiatric patients, and mentally retarded persons. These groups request that a parent or guardian give consent.
Besides that, harm is that subjects not be harmed by your study. Psychological stress, personal embarrassment, and humiliation should be avoided. A concern of the researcher needs to be the identity of the subject. The goal of course is to reduce the risk of harm as much as possible, but since some risk may always be present. Do not do the risk of harm to the subject outweigh the potential good to society of the study.
Moreover, privacy defined as every subject has the right to keep private from their information and data who participated in the research study.
Lastly, deception in research includes the wrong information of facts related to the purpose, nature, or consequences of a research study. The researcher is morally wrong if misreprented and caused the study have not successfully consented. It can be sued if harm to the subjects or the privacy is disregarded.
The research study ethics will relate on children’s opinion to understand more how playground design and layout effect on children’s growth. Children’s parents should be informed consent to get permission from them to precede the interview. Researcher should protect all the data and keep the data closed and private.
There are two types of survey which is interview and questionnaire. An interview is a something like formal discussion between a hirer and candidate, typically in person, in which information is exchanged, with the intention of establishing the applicant’s suitability for a position. Interview is also used as a method of data collection but the information is collected by an interviewer better than through a self-administered questionnaire. Interviewers read the questions precisely as they are on the survey questionnaire. An interview is usually done face to face with someone. The choice of answers to the questions is often fixed in advance; though open-ended questions can also be included within an interview. An interview is way in which we can notice participant’s action while we cannot examine in questionnaire. The advantage of interview is they are suitable to collect all the information from the respondents about their feeling, idea and perceptions. Besides that, they can ask more detailed and certified question, usually can reach higher response rate and all the respondents’ words will be recorded.
According to business dictionary, questionnaire is done in writing. A questionnaire is a research methods consist of some questions and other information for collect and conclude all the data from the respondents. A list of a survey and research will be asked to a person and printed some information. Questionnaires are used by sociologists and positivists. Questionnaires have also had some advantages such as that they are cheap, do not assume so much effort from the questioner, and often have specific answers that make it simple to collect all the data. Questionnaires are also being limited by the fact that respondents must be able to read the questions and respond to them. Thus, for some demographic groups conducting a survey by questionnaire may not be practical. It carries out four basic purposes, first, to collect the proper information. Second, make the information can compare with the analysis, thirdly, avoid the prejudice when asking any question. Last but not least, to make the questions changeable and engaging.
Lastly, I will choose interview methods as my research question because I can record all the answer and information from the respondents. Moreover, face to face given question to them can more understand their feeling and expressions. Children’s emotions are important when questioners asking more details in playground design and layout. Playground is designed to children to let them to enjoy, thus, children’s feeling need to be survey from us to let the designer design a better layout and design for children.
Sampling is a statistical method of getting representative data or investigation from a group. According to Research Methods Knowledge Base, sampling is a process selecting groups from a population of interest so that we can normalize our conclusion back from the population that are chosen by analysing the sample. There are two types of sampling methods which are non-probability and probability.
According to the laerd dissertation, probability is defining a group of sampling techniques that help researchers to select units from a population. Probability samples are based on random selection in which every element in the population has an equal probability of being selected for the sample. There also four types of probability sampling which are simple random sample, systematic sample, stratified sample and cluster sample.
126.96.36.199 Simple random sample
Firstly, simple random sample has a list of every element in the population is produced and some of the elements are selected to make sure that equal chance must be given to each element on the list. Simple random sample is the populations and sampling frames. It uses random number tables and computer to select elements.
188.8.131.52 Systematic sample
Secondly, systematic sample is obtained a list of every element in the population and elements are selected by randomly, then skipping a pre-determined number of cases to select the next case. It determining a starting point using a random number table or computer generated random number and calculating the sampling interval.
184.108.40.206 Stratified sample
Thirdly, stratified sample is divided by selected race, age, and gender and elements are selected from the stratified lists using either simple random or systematic random sampling. It also stratifies the sampling frame and selects cases using simple random or systematic random sampling.
220.127.116.11 Cluster sample
Lastly, cluster sample do not need that a sampling frame listing every element in the population of interest be produced. It also need to identified and sampling naturally occurring groupings. Cluster sample is using multiple levels of naturally occurring groups and obtaining or producing sampling frames.
3.4.3 Non- probability
Non-probability sampling does not involve any random selection compare to probability sampling. We can estimate confidence intervals for the statistic precisely with probability sampling but non-probability is hard for us to make it accurate that each item has a chance of being included, making it impossible either to estimate sampling variability. There is no method to measure the precision result of the sample. Non-probability sampling cannot measure the reliability because the data quality of some survey only can compare with the available information. Most of the non-sampling methods need some effort and organization to complete successfully. There are four types of non-probability which is reliance on available subject, purposive or judgmental samples, snowball sample and quota sample.
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18.104.22.168 Reliance on available subject
Firstly, reliance on available subject is the units are selected on the support of availability, the researcher does not allow to control over the representatives of the sample. For example, the researcher must understand and know the characteristics of passing by and the researcher cannot use the result from accessibility sample to generalize to a wider population.
22.214.171.124 Purposive or judgmental samples
Secondly, purposive or judgmental samples is the researcher select units which are most representative of the characteristics, so that, every unit in the population not acceptable for accession in the sample, but the composition may be affected by the self-influence of the researcher as he/she believed should be interviewed.
126.96.36.199 Snowball samples
Thirdly, snowball sample is a unit with a required characteristic is recognized. This unit is asking to identify other unit with the desired characteristics. These additional units are also asked to identify other units. Through this process the size of the sample grows larger and knows as “snowball’ sample. Snowball sampling is useful when less people know about a population being studied or the goal is to study social groups such as “social network”. Not all units in the study population would have a chance of being included in the sample. Therefore, inferences cannot be validly drawn to the study population.
188.8.131.52 Quota samples
Lastly, quota sample is units are selected on the basis of availability with “quotas” being selected to represent the distribution in the population. A quota sample is same to a covered sample, except that units are selected on the support of convenience.
In a nutshell, I will choose non-probability purposive or judgment samples for my research because it is one of the knowledge of population and suitable for my purpose of study. Children between the ages of 6 to 12 should have their parents by their side during the interview so that their parents have less worried to them.
CHAPTER 4 DATA ANALYSIS
According to the InvertorWords.com, data analysis is the process of classifying, compiling, and tabulating information for the use of achieve constructive data that can be used to analyse the conclusions, estimate the outcomes and decisions.
The interviewee is dividing into two groups that is primary student and secondary student. This is because different ages have different kind of thinking about the playground. Secondary students surely have matured thinking compare to primary student but primary students have innocence thinking view.
4.2 Data Analysis
4.2.1: Question 1
How often do you go to playground?
“2 times a week, on weekend”
“Will go every day before having an Ipad”
From the above statement, we can see that children are more active in the early age before the existence of technology. After the existence of technology, their playground is only inside their mind and the play mate is their gadgets.
“Once a week”
“Twice a month”
From this we have noticed that teenager is now lack of energy or effort to go out and have their time spend on exercise. This is not a good sign for a teenager who is still having their mind developed.
From the data that were gathered above, we can see that our daily life is being replaced by technology. This shows also how have we human being have evolved into. For my opinion, the overall look and also the function of the ride of every playground should at least follow the latest or newest trend as it will attract teenager or kids to play in the playground. So there will still be some upgrade needed towards the playground but not neglecting the purpose and main reason why playground were designed.
4.2.2: Question 2
Gadgets such as IPAD/IPHONE or others hobby which one does you prefer to play compare with playground? Why?
Primary student (7-12)
“Of course Ipad!! Because many games to play compare to playground.”
“Hmm..Ipad because no need to find a partner to play with me and my parents didn’t have time to bring me to the playground.”
In the above answer, we can conclude that nowadays generation are being brought up using technology and this is a win-win situation for both kids and parents. Whether they realise or not, at this age, kids tend to learn faster and change that into a habit.
Secondary student (13-17)
“Psp, because playground has to use lot energy, but I can either sit or lying for gamming”
“My Iphone! I can listen to the song, play games, facebook, I can do whatever I want to do in my house. Nowadays, playground is dangerous to us because there are a lot of gangsters and some of them taking drugs at there!!”
On overall, we can see the other perspective to this problem. They taught that being outside is dangerous and they rather stay at home. At the end, they prefer holding a device in their hand and be lazy on the sofa.
Clearly the answer given for this question has their own point of view and opinion. For kids below age of twelve, they are just being lazy and brought up in an unhealthy way. This is a win-win situation, as mentioned, kids are being happy when they don’t have to go under the heat and sweat while their parents have no problem keeping the child safe and secure. For children under the age of 17, they are worried that they will be bullied by others as children are exposed to gangster and bully issue when they enter secondary school. They felt insecure outside their comfort zone, their house. The summary to this problem is that children are being over protected when they are young and when they face problem in the future; they choose to stay at home and avoid the problem that might face again in the future.
4.2.3: Question 3
Do you like sharing the playground with older kids? Why?
Primary student (7-12)
“Yes because feel happier when playing with more people.”
“Yes because I will happy when I see they are playing happily.”
In their mind, they don’t really care about how the playground looks like. They just like to have fun with all the acquaintances that are around them. Bumping into each other and play along until play time is over.
Secondary student (13-17)
“Yes because I can meet more friends that way instead of just playing with my friends in school.”
“Don’t like because no freedom when playing in the playground like somebody stalking behind me.”
Youngsters are friendlier when they reached a certain age. This is because they started too socialized with other people slowly. Some of them don’t like to share things with other, maybe is because they felt the space between one another is too near.
From the information gained above. We can see that people do care about the space that they get between each other. The space does affect each other when they are playing in the playground. So by including to similar rides in a playground will also help to create space for a more comfortable ride for the users.
4.2.4: Question 4
What games do you like the most in playground?
Primary student (7-12)
“Swing because can feel the wind .”
“Monkey bar because can climb very high.”
if you noticed, there is a similarity between both the answer gained from the above. Both of the answer includes height. As they said, sky is the limit and kids do stuff without thinking about the consequences.
Secondary student (13-17)
“Swing because I can play with family, they can push I from behind I can feel so lovely and warm”
“SWING!! Because I like the feeling of soaring high whenever I am up above the ground.”
The answer given, there are still children who like to fly high with the ride that they are on. This proves that children like to go high before they reach the age of teenagers. Some of them like to spent time with their family as well when they are in the playground.
There is more than space in perimeter that should be taken into consideration. The space in terms of height should also be taken into consideration. The reason why is because playground can be considered as a space from all direction and height. Therefor the space in the ride and the space around the playground should also be taken into consideration. For kids and children, space for them means the volume of freedom that they could have in the playground.
4.2.5: Question 5
What is the game will you play the first and the last?
Primary student (7-12)
“Monkey bar and slide.”
“Swing and spring rider.”
Kids tend to play rides with higher chance of getting hurt compared to other rides. With this, they come with high spirit of wanting to express their energy in the playground. Kids with higher energy in them tend to play the ride more vigorously at first.
Secondary student (13-17)
“Monkey bar and swing”
“I would go for t