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Play and Playwork

On this page you can find links to documents that inform our work at Gwealan Tops Adventure Playground.

On this page you can find links to documents that inform our work at Gwealan Tops Adventure Playground.

Adventure playgrounds

Adventure playgrounds were first introduced in the UK during the late 1940s by Lady Allen of Hurtwood after her visit to the junk playground in Emdrup, Copenhagen.

These facilities sprung up in the spaces left by wartime bombs, using waste materials, tools and the permissive supervision of a playleader to create spaces where children could build play structures, light fires, make dens and engage in outdoor play. This form of provision, although having undergone significant changes since its introduction in the years following World War II in England, may be seen as chaotic and disorderly, unfinished places where children can manipulate materials and the elements to co-create their own spaces for play. The original founders of the Adventure Playground movement emphasised the need to intervene as little as possible and have confidence in children’s capacity to develop their own ideas of play. Here is a briefing paper from Play England on developing an adventure playground

The Playwork Principles

The Playwork Principles establish the professional and ethical framework for playwork.

They describe what is unique about play and playwork, and provide the playwork perspective for working with children and young people. They are based on the recognition that children and young people’s capacity for positive development will be enhanced if given access to the broadest range of environments and play opportunities. They inform the work of the playground and our approach and for more information you can download the playwork principles.

Play and Building Resilience

This information sheet from Play Wales explores how children’s play contributes to developing resilience and how we as adults can support children to build resilience through play. It also details how playing is an integral part of childhood.

Play and Risk

Children need challenge in their play and have to be able to test themselves – physically and emotionally. This information sheet aims to set out why a balanced, thoughtful approach to managing risks in children’s play is needed. It also aims to give an overview of risk-benefit assessment, which is widely accepted as a suitable approach.

The production of this information sheet has been funded by the Welsh Government.

Co-creating an Adventure Playground (CAP): Reading playwork stories, practices and artefacts

John and Bridget, our job share adventure playground managers, were both involved in a research project with the University of Gloucestershire, whilst working with Hackney Play Association in London. The overall intention was to explore the ways in which playwork practitioners at the playground make sense of and give meaning to their practice in designing and maintaining an environment for play.

The Benefits of Play And Playwork

This is research carried out on behalf of the Community and Youth Workers’ Union looking into the benefits of play and playwork.

Play Types

This information sheet from Play Wales explores Bob Hughes’ 16 play types – including creative play, rough and tumble, deep play and social play. The various play types attempt to describe the full range of children’s play behaviours and how they might contribute to children’s physical, mental and emotional development. Facilitating the play types in practice to ensure children experience a range of opportunities and experiences requires space, permission and variety.