This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

An Approach to Designing Playgrounds that Promote Game Play




Plack, Holden

Type of Degree



Industrial Design


The time American children spend on average engaged in valuable play has been in decline over the past several decades. This trend is upsetting when considering the important role of play in the development of children. Valuable play is active, creative, and social and play led by children is commonly regarded as the most beneficial type of play. This study reviews Literature related to play, games, child development and playgrounds. The playground is place that can help change this trend. Unfortunately the standard American playground fails to meet the broad developmental needs of children. This study offers a new approach to designing playgrounds that promote game play. Games associated with this approach are invented, modified, shared, and/or taught by children or adults. This creative, imaginative and social play aims to meet important developmental needs of children.