By Simply Play
Play value should be at the heart of any play space design, but all too often it is an afterthought.
Simply Play the Assessment
Simply Play has been developed as a process which puts Play Value back at the heart of play space design and evaluation.
It has been developed from the foundation play theory and writings which have grown out of decades of the study of play. The project has been supported by Professor Perry Else at Sheffield Hallam University. Simply Play is rooted in theory and has been consolidated in practice.
Simply Play the Themes
Drawing on play knowledge, Simply Play offers a simple assessment of the complexities of play. It covers themes such as sensory play, elemental play and assesses the complexities of risk and challenge in the play space. It works from the understanding that all individuals work with their own play needs at the heart, and that a playable space must offer a challenge to them. Elsewhere this is frequently considered from the perspective of the physical challenge, but Simply Play helps to reflect on the other less considered challenges involved in shared space of social and emotional challenge. Risk and challenge, whilst important in a play space, needs to be designed in a graduated to way to ensure that the play space offers longer term interest for the player. This supports the sustainability of the play space beyond the issue of maintenance and into the realm of play value. In considering the full spectrum of the play curriculum, Simply Play offers an awareness, which continues into the consultancy practice, of inclusivity. When the player is considered, all aspects of individuality are considered whether the ability, confidence or play needs differ. All players are considered.
Simply Play in Practice
Simply Play is currently working with a number or organisations to support their play strategy development, their consultation processes and the evaluation of play provision.
Simply Play the Expertise
The development of Simply Play has been with the expertise of Sheffield Hallam University, Timberplay Ltd. and the Associate, Beth Cooper. Beth has a strong background in community work; with a community arts background consolidated by a first class degree in Children and Playwork. This is followed by her role as a Project Officer for City of York Council, working with local communities to develop play areas which fit the needs of the local people.
Simply Play the offer
Simply Play the assessment is freely available via the website www.simplyplay.org.uk. In addition, the support to develop a play space or strategy for a playable space can be offered as a bespoke package dependent on your needs. It is a valuable service which can work alongside any play space development and long term play development strategy, to help keep play value as the key focus.