Constructing Active Spaces – Facilitating Child Friendly Communities

We will explore the development of the Children’s Centre model incorporating family focused services and early childhood education currently being rolled out across South Australia and the engagement of the Adelaide community with the Child Friendly Cities program, as legacies of the Adelaide Thinkers in Residence program, as a backdrop to these visits.

Join us for a 15-minute walk along the Torrens from the Adelaide Oval to Bonython Park while the designers talk about this space in the context of Child Friendly Communities and the of role in play grounds the development of physical and social skills.

Our bus will then take us to the new Aldinga Beach Children’s Centre where we will further consider the concepts of active spaces and child-friendly communities and our roles as designers and educators in realising these.

Bonython Park Playspace

Forget the metal swings; this is a contemporary playground with water, mud, hills, rocks and beautiful landscaping set beside the River Torrens. It is accessible for people with disability.

The key principles are of “play and exploration, to provide an engaging family experience that will encourage return visits” (WAX Design website). It explores the tensions between adventure and risk, physical play and quiet, creative play in a public setting where unsupervised tween and teenagers and children with families can mingle and play together.

Sponsored by KOMPAN


Aldinga Beach Children’s Centre

Have you a child’s eye? A child’s body would be useful too for the Aldinga Children’s Centre. Remember mud pies? Did you create imaginary worlds or pirate ships or fairy gardens? Play Pooh Sticks, build cubbies and hide in bush tunnels? Opening in February 2014, this facility is designed to the new Early Learning Facilities guidelines established by the Department of Education and Child Development (DECD).

The principles are of self-directed learning in a creative and stimulating environment. The collaboration between users & designers is evident in the playful nature of the facility. Outside, the seaside theme provides activity areas giving a wide range of sensory experiences and physical challenges. Inside, the floors will take you on a journey along the beach. How has the learning program been shaped by the spaces? How will these spaces mutate over time to suit changes of pedagogy?

This page last updated: Tuesday 13 May 2014