Quality play is fundamental to the healthy development of a child. Children living in high-density residential areas in Pretoria are deprived of necessary play experiences, due to the nature of the existing playgrounds. This dissertation investigates how a playscape (natural playground) can be designed in such a way as to facilitate the social, emotional, cognitive and physical development of children. The research argues that quality play is possible when children have loose parts to play with, and are able to manipulate their environment. Playing in more natural areas offers a host of physical and psychological health benefits for children. A playscape is therefore proposed in the high-density residential area of Sunnyside in Pretoria along the Walker Spruit, to serve the play needs of the children in the area, incorporating a toy library and other economic initiatives. The design solution aims at creating a safe park which would be used by all members of the public, not only children. The proposal shows that employing natural materials in a play area could provide healthy, stimulating play opportunities for children.
Dissertation (ML(Prof))--University of Pretoria, 2012.