Play for all ages

Physical activity more critical than ever

Teenagers hang out. But they also want to be physically active. They experience a physical growth spurt that challenges their sense of balance. They need to build strength, endurance and speed. And they should certainly be more physically active than the average teenager is today. Opportunities to meet and move are crucial to teenagers, not least because activity seems to decline in this age group, and statistics show an alarming growth in the number of children suffering from excess body weight.

Teenagers say their favourite activities in play spaces and play fields are swings, climbing equipment, trim trails and ball game pitches. Activities that are challenging and seem somewhat daring are the most popular. Teenage girls tend to prefer less "sweaty" activities such as spinning and climbing equipment and swings.

All about friends
During a child's teenage years, social interaction with peers becomes more important than ever. Teenagers need to be with friends and make new acquaintances, preferably in large groups. It's essential to take this into account when designing play equipment and areas for this age group.

Mind and body
The pace of brain and mental faculty growth is still considerable at this age, and numerous studies show that physically fit teenagers are better learners, more emotionally balanced and better integrated into social networks.

Key words in development and play design for the teenagers:

  • Agility
  • Speed, endurance and strength
  • Places for socialising

Examples of good play activities
Swings, trim trails, climbing activities, spinning activities, ball game activities.

Social corners: places to hang out, relax and watch others while being next to physical play events.

When landscaping, follow these six basic principles:
Based on input form 1040 young people interviewed by Capacent Epinion for the KOMPAN Play Institute, we offer the following six principles for planning successful play spaces for teenagers: 

1. Include users and the community

2. Invest in the right location

3. Make room for social activities

4. Create a youthful atmosphere

5. Offer physical activities

6. Provide a comfortable setting

To read more about the these principles and download the survey, visit www.teenagers.kompan.com