Timberplay's Play Assessment Tool, Simply Play, is now available for anyone to use online. This tool has been redeveloped to increase its functionality and usability, with a reduced number of questions and enhanced online performance. Simply Play was created as part of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership between Sheffield Hallam University and Timberplay to benefit all individuals involved in the development of play spaces.
The new Simply Play survey now includes 32 questions across 8 themes, making it easy to understand and simple to complete. It allows assessors to analyze several factors in any given play area, such as challenge, movement, and social provision, providing supplementary and supportive information where necessary. The results are then emailed to the assessor in the form of an easy-to-understand infographic.
According to Beth Cooper, developer of Simply Play and Creative Play Associate at Timberplay, the original tool was the result of many months of research and analysis into leading play theories. Feedback from users prompted Timberplay to refine the tool, resulting in the new Simply Play. It is still offered as a free-to-use tool and can help support the creation of better play areas.
The results infographic serves as an excellent reference point for identifying areas of the play space in need of improvement. With Simply Play, anyone can assess and improve the play value of a play area, regardless of their own knowledge or experience. The tool is particularly useful for those involved in play design and playground design.