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Traditional vs naturalised design: a comparison of affordances and physical activity in two preschool playscapes
journal contributionposted on 2019-01-01, 00:00 authored by Llewellyn WishartLlewellyn Wishart, Carolina CabezasCarolina Cabezas, Anne-Marie MorrisseyAnne-Marie Morrissey, Vincent VersaceVincent Versace
This study employed a range of observation methods engaging with the concept of affordances to create a qualitative snapshot of children’s movement behaviour in two playscapes. Comparison of children’s movement behaviour in the playscapes generated the research question of whether a highly naturalised playscape provides more varied opportunities for physical activity than traditionally designed playscapes with standard equipment. Based on observations of children’s activity in the playscapes there appeared to be differences in manipulative activity in the naturalised space. Further analysis using behaviour mapping indicated the naturalised space may offer potentially varied opportunities for developing children’s sense of balance and increasing physical activity. Children made wider use of the naturalised space and resources, whereas activity in the traditional space was more likely confined to standard areas and equipment. The findings suggest naturalised design potentially provides equivalent or more varied opportunities for pre-schooler physical activity than traditional designs and standardised equipment.